Clair Harrison, a senior graphic design major from Gadsden and a majorette in the Sound of the South, suffered a burn injury this past summer while working at the New Brockton High School Band Camp.
On July 26, Harrison was teaching the majorettes how to properly throw a fire baton, when the ignited fuel splashed on her face.
“I started to stop, drop and roll like I learned in elementary school,” Harrison said.
Harrison said that the fire went out as quickly as it had started, and she was immediately taken care of by the high school’s band staff.
“They knocked me out and gave me a lot of medication to relieve the pain I had,” she said.
“I was then put into an ambulance and airlifted to UAB (the University of Alabama at Birmingham hospital).”
According to Harrison, the New Brockton administration and band faculty visited her several times throughout her hospital stay and have maintained contact with her to receive updates on her health condition.
“We reached out and shared our sympathy and concern for her,” said Mark Walker, director of bands at Troy University. “We made it possible that when she comes back she still has her spot.”
Walker explained that the band staff will help to accommodate with whatever she needs as far as her recovery is concerned.
Harrison was released from the hospital on Aug. 6, and said that she was healing faster than most expected.
“I had my second doctor’s checkup last week, and they told me that there was no need to come back,” she said.
“I have been recovering very well. My skin is supposed to be back to its normal color in a month.”
In terms of her current treatment regimen, Harrison has to apply sensitive skin lotion to relieve the burn.
Harrison explained that one of the only difficulties she is currently facing is talking, as one of her vocal cords is blistered from her ventilator.
“Two of my vocal cords don’t touch, when normally they do,” she said. “It doesn’t hurt, but it’s harder for me to make the sound.”
Harrison said that she will still perform as a majorette in the Sound of the South this year.
“I performed at the Odyssey Convocation five days after my release from the hospital.”
Speaking upon Harrison’s comeback, Walker said he respected her dedication.
“She showed all of us her tenacity and determination,” Walker said.
“Clair Harrison has shown the epitome of the Trojan warrior spirit by being back out on the field as soon as she was physically able to,” said Nicholas Dobos, a junior information systems major from Panama City, Florida, and a sousaphone player in the Sound of the South.
“She won’t let anything stand in her way of doing what she loves.”
Harrison said that she is excited for the upcoming marching season and is looking forward to this school year.