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Fiery Crash Leads to Transformation of a Lifetime



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Working in the Bakersfield oilfields and not having a day off in over a month left Francisco Padilla exhausted. After finishing a 12-hour shift, he only drove a few miles before he nodded off on a late summer eve in 2012. What happened next changed his life forever.

“I fell asleep behind the wheel,” says Padilla of his accident. “So my car caught fire, so I was burned over 70% of my body, third degree burns, second, and first degree — mostly over my lower extremities.”

He also lost parts of his fingers on his badly damaged hands.

Padilla was rushed from Bakersfield to Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno — the only comprehensive burn center and Level 1 Trauma Center between Los Angeles and Sacramento.

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Justine joined GV Wire in 2021 as the Digital Content Coordinator. She has experience in the graphic design industry where she has done freelance work for both non-profits and various local businesses. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Art with a Graphic Design option from California State University, Fresno. During her time there, she was heavily involved with the Asian American and Pacific Islanders community by volunteering in the Hmong Student Association and also working as a student writer for the Asian Pacific Review. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her younger siblings, traveling with friends, and catching the games during football season. You can contact Justine at 559-244-9192 or Send an Email

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