Safe at Home
One of six children to survive the bombing—and the last of those in Oklahoma to be returned home—Allen had burns covering more than 50 percent of his body. Almost from the beginning, doctors feared for his life. He suffered a broken arm, ruptured eardrums and a collapsed lung. But on the day of his release he was eating cake at a party thrown for him by the doctors and nurses, who had grown to love him. "He got to where he didn't have much use for us," says Dr. Morris Gessouroun. "He was riding all around the ward in a motorized car his grandparents had brought him; he turned the ICU into a little Indianapolis 500."
There to greet P.J. at the door of the home he shares with his mother, Rochelle, 22, and his grandparents was Muffit, his toy poodle. P.J. still has a tracheal tube to help with breathing, but his burns have healed. Doctors have ordered that he stay mostly indoors for the next two summers, though, fearing sunlight might cause permanent scarring of the new skin. Never mind the restrictions—P.J. is thriving. "I had to fight back the tears going home," says grandmother Deloris. "It's sort of like awakening from a bad dream."