‘I wanted to come in a visitor, not a patient: CAL student has senior photos taken at Norton Children’s Hospital

Since therapy and nurses played such a big role in her recovery, she wants to either go into psychology or nursing to help others.
Published: Sep. 6, 2022 at 5:14 PM EDT

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Many high school students are getting their senior photos taken around this time of year.

For one young woman, her photos are about the journey she’s taken over the past six years.

When Kennedy Moore was in the sixth grade, she was with friends near a bonfire. She said she and her friends were looking at some graphic medical images that made her woozy.

“I passed out and fell backward into the bonfire,” Kennedy said.

”It was the phone call that everyone talks about but, no parent ever wants,” Kennedy’s mother, Terri Scheller, said.

Kennedy was rushed to Norton Children’s Hospital with burns all over.

”All the way from first-degree burns to third-degree burns,” Kennedy said. “All over my back because I fell backward and down my right leg, on my right arm and left thigh.”

She spent one month in the hospital. In the photos she shared with WAVE News, the 12-year-old found a way to smile during that difficult time. But, of course, there was physical and emotional pain along the way.

”I didn’t really realize how it made me feel until I went to school because middle schoolers are mean,” Kennedy said. “I got my fair share of bullying. My name is Kennedy Moore so, they called me Kennedy Smore. I had to go to school with a walker, a 12-year-old with a walker is not something you see every day.”

At first, she covered up her scars with pants and long sleeves. But, with time, the wounds and pain healed a bit. Going into high school, Kennedy started to feel better about herself.

”First impressions are made off looks,” her mother said. “Good, bad, right or wrong, your first impression is your appearance in a lot of cases. She did amazing through all that, though.”

Kennedy realized her scars weren’t going anywhere and were proof of how strong she really is. So, for her senior photos, she went back to where her recovery journey started at Norton Children’s Hospital.

“I wanted to come in a visitor, not a patient,” Kennedy said.

She got to reconnect with the doctor and nurse who helped her and show them how far she’s come.

”I would say I’m confident in myself now,” Kennedy said. “I wore a short sleeve shirt and skirt so you could see my scars.”

The scars are a reminder that she survived. She has a message to anyone feeling down about their pain.

”You are not going to be stuck in this place forever,” Kennedy said.

Kennedy and her family said they are incredibly grateful to the folks at Norton Children’s Hospital and the people who have supported them along the way.

Kennedy is currently going to school at Christian Academy of Louisville and is applying to colleges. Since therapy and nurses played such a big role in her recovery, she wants to either go into psychology or nursing to help others.