Student who burned over 90% of his body in accident to walk across stage at graduation

BREMEN, Ga. — We first met Mayson McKinzie just weeks after he survived an explosion in 2019. He was in a wheelchair with bandages wrapped around his entire body.

He suffered third-degrees burns to 90% of his body. After the horrific accident, doctors told Mayson McKinzie he may never walk again.

But now, he’s preparing to walk across the stage and receive his high school diploma

“I never have to worry about it. Feels like normal skin,” Mayson McKinzie said, showing Channel 2′s Audrey Washington his scars.

He is now 19 years old and preparing to graduate Bremen High School.

“I was able to come out of a tremendous accident,” Mayson McKinzie said.


Three years ago, he used a can of gasoline to burn some debris in his backyard. That gas can exploded.

The flames ripped through McKinzie’s body. He suffered third-degree burns to his arms, legs, back and torso.

Mayson’s mother, Ginger McKinzie witnessed the unimaginable accident.

“Seeing your child on fire is something that I still… If I sit and think about it long enough, that vision still comes back,” Ginger McKinzie said.

Mayson McKinzie underwent physical therapy, skin graphs and surgery to his feet.

“My graphs and stuff pulled my tendons tight, so I had to have surgery to release the tendons, so I was able to move and run again,” Mayson McKinzie said.

And run he did.

Mayson McKinzie returned to his Bremen High football team and on Friday he will receive his diploma.

“He’s just the biggest inspiration. He helps me get through my day-to-day life,” his brother, Dalton McKinzie said.

“I’m celebrating this,” Ginger McKinzie said.

Mayson McKinzie now hopes his recovery will help other young burn survivors.

“It’ll be a slow process but at the end of it, it’ll be an amazing accomplishment,” he said.

Mayson McKinzie will next head to college. He hopes to speak at a special camp for young burn survivors.