Donovan Moore, 8, was welcomed home to Leachville on Wednesday. He was met at the city limits by the local firemen and police officers. Donovan finished his trip home on a fire truck. It was a parade in his honor. His friends and teachers at Buffalo Island Central East welcomed him with banners and cheers.
The doctors told the family when skin is taken from the body it is like having second degree burns.
"The doctors calculated at one time Donovan had 85 percent of his body in second and third degree burns," Moore said.
Donovan received over 500 cards. His mother read each one to him.
"Most of the cards were from friends and family and some from people we didn't even know," she said. "It was a blessing to know how many people were thinking of us and praying for us."
He has a long way to go, but he has come a long way and the family is grateful for all of the support and prayers.
"We appreciate the police department, fire department, Mayor Spurlock, the school and entire community for their kindness," Mark Wheeler said.
Wheeler is the fiance of Ms. Moore.
"We want to thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts," he said. "The community has held fund raisers and they have kept Donovan in their prayers. There are so many people who have been there for the family, it is impossible to thank each one individually but we are so grateful for everything."
Ms. Moore will not be able to go back to work for awhile as she is caring for Donovan at home. She works in the school cafeteria at Buffalo Island Central East. Donovan said her co-workers have been wonderful.
Ms. Moore learned how to care for her son at home. She changes his bandages twice a day, covers the sores with medication and takes care of all his needs as he is recovering.
She has maintained a positive attitude for him.
"I want to give him strength through my eyes when he looks at me," she said.
In addition to the community, Ms. Moore said her church family has been wonderful. They attend Calvary United Pentecostal Church in Jonesboro. The church members gave Donovan a welcome back party on Sunday night. Donovan has been featured on the church's website, www.calvaryjonesboro.com, allowing people to follow his progress.
Ms. Moore has always been very independent and admits it is sometimes difficult for her to depend on others.
"People have been wonderful," she said. "I have had to depend on people to help care for my other boys while I have been in the hospital with Donovan. When we arrived home from the hospital, my kitchen was filled with groceries. I appreciate everything. People have held fundraisers and donated to help us."
Ms. Moore also has two older sons who are students at BIC.
She and Donovan will be returning to the Shriner's Hospital in Ohio on Sept. 24.
"We know he will need more surgeries," she said. "The doctors will tell us where we will go from here."
Donovan and his mother hope to be back in school at BIC in the near future.