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girl with bandages on face

15-Yr-Old Burn Victim Can’t Go To Prom, So Friends Plan Emotional Surprise Instead.

Teenagers often get a bad rap, but sometimes these young people are capable of performing such selfless acts of kindness, it takes your breath away.

Until one fateful night in April 2018, Korryn Bachner was a normal fifteen-year-old student at Glenbard East High School in Lombard, Illinois. The popular cheerleader had an active social life, and had been looking forward to attending the prom with her friend Jonathan Ayala, a senior at her school. Jonathan had recently sprung a fun “prom-posal” on her, and she was excited to be attending the event as a sophomore.

Chicago Tribune

Then, one spring night, Korryn was involved in a tragic accident that changed the course of her life forever.


Korryn and several other teens were sitting around a campfire when one of the boys decided to make the flames even larger. When he poured gasoline over the blaze, the fire exploded, burning Korryn and eleven other kids, including the boy who’d done the deed.

Korryn suffered third degree burns all over her face, neck, and hands. She spent thirteen agonizing days in the hospital. “I didn’t understand the severity of her burns until I saw her in the trauma center,” Korryn’s mother Ellen said. “It’s every mom’s worst nightmare. You don’t want to see your kids hurt.”

Korryn Bachner burn
Chicago Tribune

Though Korryn has a long road of recovery ahead of her, she was released just one day before the prom. Korryn told her friends and date that she wasn’t comfortable going to the prom with a bandaged face, and her doctors warned her to stay home due to the risk of infection. But Jonathan was determined to bring his date some much-needed joy.

“He told me in the hospital that he was determined to bring prom to her, even if it was in the hospital,” Ellen recalled. “Then when we came home, he asked if he could decorate the basement.”


When the day of the prom arrived, Korryn thought her friends were coming over to take pictures with her before heading off to their big night. Instead, she was shocked to learn that they’d decorated her own basement and intended to bring the prom to her!


“She has such a great group of friends. There were definitely some tears, but they were happy tears. [Jonathan] missed his senior prom for her. She has the opportunity to still attend two more, but I don’t know that another prom will ever be as special as this one was.”


Korryn’s group of friends went all out to make sure she knew she was loved! They took tons of pictures, laughed, and danced.


Ellen says she could tell that underneath all of those bandages, her daughter was smiling.


“It made my heart happy. Being home and having to do her dressing changes and nursing her myself, it’s very, very painful for her and it’s very hard for me to hurt her. But I know it has to be done in order for her healing. It’s a long process. Burns take a long time to heal.”


Korryn says that this experience lead to her decision to study nursing after she graduates. She wants to some day work in a burn unit, because she understands the pain, fear, and trauma of a severe burn more than anyone else ever could.

Hundreds of people have donated thousands of dollars to a GoFundMe campaign to help with medical expenses, and while Korryn still has a long road ahead, we’re sure that the love of her family and friends will sustain her.


This at-home prom is a beautiful demonstration of friendship! It’s terrible that Korryn had to go through this horrific accident, but it’s nice to know that she’s got such overwhelming support. Well done, kids!

Please share this story to encourage all teens to stand by their friends when times get tough.

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