Burn, Katrina Victim "Second Lines" Out of BR Hospital

Jean Joseph Courtesy: BR General Hospital
Jean Joseph Courtesy: BR General Hospital

Jean Joseph thought the worst thing that could ever happen in her life was Hurricane Katrina.   After losing her home, she moved into a FEMA trailer on Branch Street in New Orleans.   Last August, Ms. Joseph called a friend over to check on her trailer's propane stove, which she says was not working properly.   As the man approached the stove, Joseph says the stove exploded, causing a flash fire that killed her friend and left her bound to a wheelchair with severe burns.  "I could not walk, I could not feed myself," Joseph said of her injuries.

As she endured months of physical rehabilitation, Joseph vowed that she would one day not only walk again, but perform a "second line" dance as she left the burn unit at Baton Rouge General Hospital where she was being treated.  Several weeks ago, Joseph finally walked for the first time since the accident.   Tuesday afternoon, she kept her promise and performed a "second line" as she was discharged from the hospital.

"Pretty good for somebody who couldn't walk two months ago, huh," Joseph said to doctors, nurses, and fellow patients who watched her dance down the hallway holding the traditional umbrella used in the "second line".  Dressed in a perfectly pressed off-white suit, she wore three Mardi Gras beads around her neck.   She never stopped smiling.

Joseph returned to New Orleans Tuesday evening where she is now living with relatives.

Reporter:  Robb Hays, WAFB.COM