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.