HARRISBURG, Pa. — At just 7 years old, Reese Burdette and her grandmother were home when a fire broke out in 2014.
Although they both made it out alive, Reese suffered severe injuries to her face, arms and legs. She suffered burns, was in a coma for four months and lost a leg due to poor circulation. She spent 662 days—almost two years—in the pediatric intensive care unit at John Hopkins Hospital.
“We had a lot of days where we weren’t sure what the next day would bring, but Reese came home from there, and one of her drives was that she wanted to come back to the All-American Dairy Show,” said Justin Burdette, Reese’s father.
The Harrisburg All-American Dairy Show brings in cattle from all over the country and is one of the biggest fall shows of the year. Throughout the year, the cows are on a special diet, groomed and cared for to make the best exhibition of prize cattle for the breeders.
“You have to put a lot of hard work in to do this,” said Reese. “It’s about trusting your calves, not just leading; it’s about trust and respect for one another more than anything.”
Last year at the Harrisburg All-American show, Reese stood fifth in showmanship out of 140 kids. This year, she’ll be showing two of her cattle.