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Girl, 10, suffers severe burns when propane tank explodes during party

What started as a joyful pool party and cookout for an Arizona family ended with a 10-year-old girl being rushed to the hospital in critical condition with horrific burns covering nearly half of her body after a leaking propane tank blew up. 

Isla Clare Cook, from Peoria, has spent the last six days on a ventilator at the Arizona Burn Center in Phoenix with second- and third-degree burns to 46 per cent of her body, in addition to several first-degree burns.  

Isla's parents, Alyssa and Justin Cook, said they were hosting a gathering at their home in Peoria on June 6 when a faulty propane tank fueling their grill caught fire and exploded.

Isla Cook, a 10-year-old gymnast from Arizona (left), suffered devastating burns to nearly half of her body (pictured right in the hospital) when a propane tank exploded during a family pool party on June 6

This picture of Isla was taken just before the explosion, which produced 10-foot flames 

Justin Cook, Isla's father, said watching his daughter 'go up in flames' was the hardest thing he has ever experienced 

'Isla ended up receiving the brunt of the ten-foot flames,' wrote Katelyn Williams in the description of a GoFundMe campaign. 

Justin told AZFamily.com that watching his daughter 'go up in flames' was the hardest thing he has ever experienced. 

Isla was initially taken to a local hospital and was then transferred to the burn unit in Phoenix, where she was intubated to help manage her pain levels.

According to the organizer of the online fundraiser, doctors will not get a clear picture of how long Isla's recovery will take until she undergoes surgery to receive skin grafts. 

The 10-year-old, who is the eldest of five children, could be in the burn unit anywhere between a month and 10 months. Williams revealed that she might require skin grafts from cadavers, in which case her road to recovery will be longer. 

'This is a very excruciating beginning of what will be a painfully long process,' Williams wrote.  

Isla has been received care at the Arizona Burn Center in Phoenix. She has second- and third-degree burns to 46 per cent of her body 

Isla has been described as mom Alyssa's helper, especially with her one-year-old twins 

Isla has been training as a gymnast from the time she was a young girl, and her mother expressed hope that her physical fitness and strength would help her make a full recovery. 

'She's a fighter,' Alyssa told the news station. 

The local gymnastics community has launched a campaign on Instagram to support Isla, using the hashtag #FlipforIsla to raise awareness of her plight. 

Williams, the organizer of the fundraiser, described Isla as a girl with a playful, fun personality who is 'always thinking of others and is often finding ways to do acts of service for her family and friends.' 

When she is not helping her mother with her younger siblings, including one-year-old twins, she bakes 'yummy treats' for her family, sings and plays the piano. 

Isla, who is a trained gymnast, is awaiting surgery to receive skin grafts. She could remain in the burn unit anywhere between a  month and 10 months 

'The thing she loves the very most is gymnastics,' Williams wrote. 'At almost any given moment, Isla is twisting, bending, or flipping," Williams wrote. "She dedicates several hours a day to gymnastics and recently became an Optional level 6. She is basically a rockstar." 

The girl's family are now dealing with mounting medical costs associated with her care, which entails continuously cleaning and redressing her burns.

'We have no idea what the cost of her care will be, but we have been told by others who have been in similar situations that it likely will be astronomical,' wrote Williams.

She set the goal of the fundraiser at $200,000, which she acknowledged was 'pretty high' but will likely still fall short of the cost of Isla's care. So far, the fundraiser has drawn more than $90,000 in donations.  

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