Wednesday, July 20, 2011 was a watershed day in the life of 19-year-old Derek Thomas. Thomas was severely burned in a car accident 11 months earlier and given only a 1% chance of surviving. More than 85% of his body was burned in the multi-car collision near Bishop. The accident killed four people and injured 15 others. During his stay at the hospital, Derek underwent 42 surgeries and had to have every inch of his burned skin scraped off. Although he still has a number of surgeries to undergo and will
be permanently scarred from the burns, Derek was in good spirits and happy to go home.