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Family, friends rally around Fergus woman badly burned in campfire mishap

Ex-husband starts GoFundMe for Cathy Bilton, who was badly injured last Saturday when her clothing caught fire
Cathy Bilton. Supplied photo

FERGUS – The ex-husband of Fergus burn victim who was airlifted after a bonfire incident on Saturday wants the community to know her name. Cathy Bilton. 

He said Bilton who is known in the Fergus community as a hairstylist who used to own Razor's Edge in town, is a kind, loving human being who loves spending time with her children and grandchildren.

Bilton is currently at the burn unit at the Hamilton General Hospital where she has been under sedation since she arrived on Saturday. She had a second operation for a skin graft Thursday.

“Sixty per cent of her body is burned, mainly to third-degree,” said Peter Serra, who also is the father of three of Bilton's four children.

Last week, Bilton was at a friend’s house enjoying a bonfire with her husband Rod where her clothes caught fire.

“By the time they put her out, she had suffered severe burns,” said Serra. 

He said her burns include a large portion of her leg, upper torso and her head and his family anticipates Bilton is going to spend approximately six months in the hospital where she will undergo numerous surgeries. 

He said the family has been anticipating that when Bilton comes home, there will be significant costs related to care with treatment and adjustments to her new home.

In order to help with the costs, Serra created a GoFundMe page to raise $5,000 that will help with recovery costs. 

“It’s probably going to be a lot more than that but I figured that was just a nice number to start at,” said Serra. 

He said Bilton’s condition is currently critical but stable but the incident has been difficult for her grown children. 

“Obviously the kids are taking it really hard with the thought that they might lose their mom,” said Serra. 

“We’re not even allowed to visit because of COVID-19,” said Serra adding that two of their children have been in constant contact with the head surgeon who updates them daily. 


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Anam Khan

About the Author: Anam Khan

Anam Khan is a journalist who covers numerous beats in Guelph and Wellington County that include politics, crime, features, environment and social justice
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