Fayetteville school principal burned in gas grill explosion now back home

FAYETTEVILLE (WTVD) -- Seventy-First High School Principal Myron Williams is back home after spending two weeks at the N.C. Jaycee Burn Center in Chapel Hill.

Williams was trying to relight a propane gas cooker on June 11 for a senior class cookout when it exploded. Williams said he was blasted 24 feet back.

"Burn is the worst pain anybody can imagine," said Williams. "I saw the fumes turn into fire. The blast came and hit me in the face. I did a little jerk and it blew me in the air."

Williams said students witness the explosion. Despite serious burns, Williams said he kept his composure.

"My first question was 'Is my face burned off?' The guy said 'No, your face is fine, but have you seen your arms and legs,' said Williams. "I see the skin is hanging off, but I could not think about the pain."

Emergency room doctors at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center quickly sent Williams to the N.C. Jaycee Burn Center in Chapel Hill via helicopter. He was treated for second and third-degree burns on his arms body and legs.

For Williams, however, the worst part was knowing that he would miss his senior class students graduate the next day.

"The kids that you had the chance to influence in different ways... you just want to be there on stage when they walk across to shake your hands," said Williams. "There is something special you could say to almost every one of them."

School Superintendent Dr. Frank Till said those at the burn center called Williams "The Miracle Healer". He went home on June 25 and credits his quick recovery to lots of prayers and support, intense exercise, and his faith in God.

"It's really touching for people to be rooting for you," he said. "Makes you work harder. Makes you work through the pain. Once you work through the pain, and the Lord helps you do that, you start working on the body, and when you work on the body it starts healing. I started walking in ICU three times a day. I got out of ICU -- it was about four times a day."

Williams plans to be back on the job in early August. His burns, his recovery, and determination are now a real-life lesson for his teachers and students.

"Things happen to us. You don't ask why it happened," said Williams. "You just deal with it and move on. You don't sit back and dwell on something bad. Can't dwell on it. So the lesson to learn is to persevere."

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