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Shelley Baumann, the woman burned after falling into a firepit last weekend, has died.

Her sister, Tina Kohel, told Racine County Eye that Shelley is in a better place now.

“She is at peace and not in any pain,” she said. “Her recovery would have been really long, and I know she would not have wanted to live like this.”

Shelley suffered up to fourth degree burns on more than 80 percent of her body last weekend while at a friend’s house. People saw her fall into the firepit and pulled her out almost immediately, and she was airlifted to the burn unit at Columbia-St. Mary’s in Milwaukee.

Tina said she and her son, Garrett, Shelley’s temporary guardian, were in the middle of an interview with a Milwaukee news station when Shelley’s doctors came out to get them.

“We took off the microphones and went back into her room,” Tina explained. “They told us they couldn’t stabilize her blood pressure and that they’d used every medication they had, so there wasn’t anything else they could do for her. Twenty minutes later she was gone.”

Garrett was especially close to his aunt, and Tina said he’s taking her death hard, but he also knows that Shelley was too full of life to have lived with any limitations.

Reaction from family and friends was swift on Shelley’s Facebook page.

“I love you so much aunt Shelley Baumann your pain free now in heaven watching us is swimming with the dolphins,” Garrett posted.

“May the angels of the lord fly you high into the heavens beautiful lady,” Juanita Martinez wrote.

Tina wants family, friends and the community to know that their family is deeply grateful for the outpouring of love and support that started as soon as word got out about Shelley’s accident.

“We greatly appreciate all the prayers and support that continue,” Tina said. “Everyone has just been so amazing. We can’t thank you enough.”

Donations for Shelley’s funeral services and any medical expenses from her hospital stay are still being accepted at the page family members established and at Landmark Credit Union through the “Help Shelley Fight” fund.

“Shelley didn’t have life insurance so anything is appreciated,” Tina added.

Marsh Meredith is handling the arrangements for Shelley’s funeral, but Tina said those details haven’t yet been decided.


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