Shelley Baumann is beloved and loveable, the middle child in a family of girls who are extremely close. She’s also missed by her family because she is lying in a medically-induced coma after suffering severe burns to most of her body.
Shelley, 57, fell into a firepit over the weekend at a friend’s house and had to be airlifted to the burn unit at Columbia-St. Mary’s in Milwaukee.
Tina Kohel is one of Baumann’s sisters, and she said Shelley suffered 4th degree burns to about 80 percent of her body. She is in intensive care, listed in critical but stable condition, and doctors say she could be in her coma for two to six months depending on how fast her body moves through the healing process.
“I go and talk to her even though she’s in a coma, and we tease her about being the middle child and going a little too far to get attention,” Tina said. “She’s just really a loveable person who’s also a fighter.”
Tina’s son, Garrett, 22, is very close to his aunt and is working to be named her temporary guardian, a move the rest of the family supports. Tina said Shelley never had children of her own so Tina shared Garrett’s birth with her by having Shelley in the delivery room. The result is a bond between Shelley and Garrett that is closer than the average aunt-nephew relationship.
For Garrett’s high school graduation, Shelley gifted him with her Harley-Davidson Sportster. In the photo attached to the story, her love for and pride in Garrett is written all over her face.
“You can just see how close they are,” Tina noted. “You can see the kind of person she is.”
Garrett is organizing fundraisers and has established a fund at Landmark Credit Union. He’s also placed collection jars at locations throughout the community
Since Shelley’s accident, the outpouring of support both spiritual and financial has been nothing short of amazing, Tina added.
“The community response has been so touching,” she continued. “It’s been just amazing, and I know there is power in prayer so we pray, and I know others are praying and that’s why she will pull through.”
To keep family, friends and supporters up to date, Tina is posting on social media, including Shelley’s own Facebook page, where there are dozens of messages from those who care about her.
After Shelly comes out of her coma, Tina said her recovery could take a year or more.
“Her injuries are really bad, but she’s a fighter,” Tina added. “She’ll pull through.”