LIFE

98% Of Man’s Body Is Burned After Scrap Metal Explosion, Now He’s Helping Other Survivors Heal

by Lindsey Smith
Lindsey is from Florida and has worked in online and print media. Her happy place is Michaels craft store.

Capernicus “Caper” Brown was just 10 years old when him and his eight-year-old brother Joey broke into a scrap metal company and started playing around with a gas hose.

The building exploded while the two boys were still inside and they were rushed to the hospital. Caper suffered third-degree burns on 98 percent of his body and Joey had 26 percent of his body covered in burns.

For 17 years Caper has been a camp counselor at the week-long ‘I am Me’ camp in Ingleside, Illinois. The camp welcomes kid and teen burn survivors at no cost to them or their families.

Caper is an integral part of the camp and he values his time with the kids to help them in any way that he can.

“They told me I should have died multiple times,” Caper says. “I want to keep going, I want to be part of people’s lives.”

His strength and tenacity have inspired and helped survivors at the came heal. “There’s no place I’d rather be,” one camper who formed a strong bond with Caper says.

Just like the campers, Joey is also inspired by his brother and is a camp counselor as well. “He keeps me going. If he can do it, I can do it,” Joey says.

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Footage provided by WQAD Moline

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