From June 16-26, 2013, Gabby stayed in her hospital room recovering from her burns. After discharge, she wore a compression garment on her right wrist to protect her burn and followed up with Larson every two weeks for about a year.
The post-recovery period was draining on not only her physical health, but her mental health as well.
“Obviously, this was a horrible situation, but had I been 17 or 7 it would have been easier,” Gabby said.
Middle school is no easy age, and explaining the accident to her classmates and feeling self-conscious from her scars took a toll on her.
The Carrara family eventually relocated from Jacksonville to Charleston, South Carolina, in Gabby’s early high school years. Even though she still wore a compression garment on her arm until she was 17, her dermatologist in Charleston did laser resurfacing to help clear some of the scarring and rebuild her skin.
Years after the incident, Gabby still found herself reflecting on her nine days spent in the hospital. During her stay, Gabby had become fascinated with her care team and the entire hospital system.
Gabby’s roommate at the children’s hospital had suffered from a genetic kidney disorder and had been involved in a surfing accident. The two became friends, and Gabby found it heartwarming that her roommate’s care team was doing everything they could to not only provide exceptional physical care, but emotional support as well.
That was the moment Gabby knew she wanted to go into medicine.
“I was asking way too many questions, but I was just so curious about everything,” Gabby said. “It was the best shadowing I could have ever gotten.”