BEEKMANTOWN — Kaleb LaBarge can’t get out much this summer, but he’s glad to be home.
The Beekmantown 8-year-old suffered second- and third-degree burns on June 18 when his shirt caught fire from a tea-light candle on the coffee table, where he was sitting to play a video game.
He underwent skin grafting before being discharged from the hospital on July 3.
“He’s doing very well,” said his aunt Denise Nestle.
At first, a nurse visited Kaleb at home to change his bandages. Now, he has to wear a compression shirt 23 hours a day to help his skin to heal.
“Everything has to be very sanitary,” Nestle said.
Kaleb can be outside for only 30 or 45 minutes at a time, she explained.
“He has a limited time that he can be out in the sun,” she said, but the doctor indicated that he is able to swim for short periods.
“That’s good progress,” she said.
Kaleb’s brother, Seth, 9, and Josh Clark, 13, played vital roles in rescuing him and were honored with certificates of heroism from the Beekmantown Volunteer Fire Department and others for bravery from the Clinton County Sheriff’s Department.
Nestle is coordinating a spaghetti-dinner benefit to raise money for expenses related to Kaleb’s treatment.
Just one compression shirt costs $400.
And the family has to travel to Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington for doctor’s appointments about every other week, so proceeds will help with ferry and transportation costs.
The Kaleb LaBarge Benefit will also host a raffle featuring prizes donated by individuals and numerous businesses.
“(People) can purchase raffle tickets for whatever prizes they are interested in,” Nestle said. “We have some Craftsman tools, jewelry from Lia Sophia, an Avon basket and a summer beach basket.
“Other prizes include Harley-Davidson T-shirts and motorcycle pants, as well as donations from the Verizon Wireless store and the General Trading Company in Plattsburgh.
“Everybody (contributing to the event) has been so phenomenal,” she added.
IF YOU GO
The Kaleb LaBarge Benefit is set for 1 to 6 p.m. Saturday at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1466 on Spellman Road in Beekmantown.
The spaghetti dinner is $8; free for ages 7 and younger. To make a donation or for more information, contact Denise Nestle at 846-8569.