Travis Rilat Update

Travis had his 1st surgery on 7/22 to remove the burns from his lower extremities and to place the allografts to allow for healing. His sister, Ashley, was not able to communicate with him much that day due to the continuous infusion of sedatives and pain medications. They also removed the superficial burns from his face which made him swell up again. Ashley said, “I am so proud of Travis for being such a fighter through all of this. This is one race he has to win.”

As of 7/24 everything went good through the night after surgery. They are trying to alleviate the pain and keep him comfortable as he heals. He is currently on the ventilator but will hopefully be slowly taken off by next Tuesday.

The family cannot express enough thanks for your love and support. They say your prayers have carried them through this week and has really kept Travis fighting to pull through.

Got this e-mail through Facebook from Shauna Smith Rhodes about Travis

“Tuesday Travis is scheduled for surgery & to slowly come off the vent. As the week approaches keep the family in your prayers as they return to work & home. We pray for strength as they have to leave Travis’ side. The family wants to thank everyone that stepped up & made things happen. You gave them the chance to show …100% attention to Travis! Thank you for your prayers!!! The family has truly got to see how many lives Travis has affected through is journey called life. The Rilats have shown us what “family” is all about. We have learned that with love, prayers& faith, you can overcome anything. As you go on with your lives, remember Travis has a long road,we need to strap on our seat belts,help this family through this challenge. We will not stop until we are planning his Welcome Home Party!! Trav- we are so proud of you! Keep fighting, Maryanna&Kinsley need their Daddy home!!! KEEP PRAYING TEAM TRAVIS!!!-Shauna”


I will not forget you or Travis… His recovery will be one of the many things I will ask God to consider. It is His will to be done… hopefully He is watching over Travis and with the hands of skilled doctors combined, Travis will be well and happily home with his family soon. God bless you all for your faith and love…
carolwicks aka OZ
thank you John for the updates. i dont know Travis but he is part of our racing family and we always try to support our racers and their loved ones and crews.

E-mail from Shauna Smith Rhodes on July 26 at 12:47pm:

“Travis is in surgery now. He is scheduled for 6 hours. Will update when information is received.”

From Shauna Smith Rhodes, July 26, 2010 at 5:40pm
Subject: Surgery 3 success…thanks for your prayers

“Just got out of surgery. Doctors were able to remove allografts on the legs and replace with Integra (which will stay). Some concern about his ankle now. He had some eschar patches near the achilles tendon that they debrided and will allow the tissue to granulate before placing a graft over it. He did receive blood in the operating room for precaution but tolerated the surgery well. -Ashley 34 minutes ago.”

From Shauna Smith Rhodes, July 30, 2010 at 3:15pm

I am very thankful of everyones help and support. We are truly making a difference in The Rilats life. I know everyone wants to help out in every way but we need to keep the communication open. I am trying very hard to organize everything but keeping up with over 2500 people can sometimes be exhausting. PLEASE PLEASE if you have any ideas for adding to the fundraiser, please message me through facebook or you can email me at I have made a very strict outline of how this benefit needs to work and run…Please respect what I am trying to do and not change things or add things without asking me first. If you have any auction items…please please don’t start posting them…WE are going to do that the week before the benefit so we can get people to get excited about coming to the benefit. If you have done a t shirt that is great but we are doing a TEAM TRAVIS shirt for our benefit. I also have the TEAM TRAVIS bling bling shirts for $25.00 or $15.00 for kiddos…We will have TEAM TRAVIS benefit shirts by next week and they will be $20.00. … We have the tweety #29 stickers for $5.00 and will have Team Travis bracelets by August 18th,for $5.00. Remember to go out and get donations or baskets for our silent auction. If you do want to be involved with the benefit on August 21 reply back to the message your email. You may have sent it to me but please understand I have went through hundreds of emails. I will have an email list and then that is how we will all communicate. That a way I don’t have to email the whole site just the volunteers. ALSO-- Thumper and I are working on TEAM TRAVIS going public (LOL) we are now going to be a 501c charity. The donations we receive will be tax deductible and the Rilats won’t be overwhelmed paying taxed on all of the money that we are raising.

As always, please keep Travis, Maryanna, Kinsley, Greg & Dorothy and Ashley and family in your prayers…

Travis’ recovery is coming along well. On Friday he will have his next surgery which will be his first skin grafts. He talks with visitors, but tires easily. Today he had his first physical therapy session which entailed walking to the end of the nurses station. He said it really helps him to know that so many people care about him. Please keep your prayers coming.

Shauna Smith Rhodes
Shauna Smith RhodesAugust 6, 2010 at 6:44pm
Subject: surgery #4 SUCCESS
Surgery # 4 is complete. Travis did really well. They will keep him on the breathing machine tonight and will try and take him off tomorrow. He will have surgery # 5 sometime next week. Will update with any changes. Thanks for all the support!
Mary Anna

Shauna Smith Rhodes
Shauna Smith RhodesAugust 7, 2010 at 3:20pm
Team Travis Shirts are READY!!! Blue-$20.00 and Red Bling- $25.00 email your orders to Also stickers are in and can be ordered and bracelets will be here later next week but reserve your TEAM TRAVIS gear now…limited shirts, stickers and bracelets!!!

Shauna Smith Rhodes August 8, 2010 at 3:41pm
Subject: Sunday update
Travis up and about this morning. Made one lap around the ICU! Will change his dressings today in the burn tank. (the first time) Will get him up again this afternoon for another walk. Travis is a fighter and will not quit. Nurses say that he is way ahead for his amount of burns. YEA!!!

Surgery #5 is complete. Travis did very well and they were able to get him off
the ventilator this time! Yeah! Surgery # 6 scheduled for sometime next
week for skin grafts on legs. On the road to recovery! TEAM TRAVIS!-

Shauna Smith RhodesAugust 17, 2010 at 3:31am
Subject: Update on Travis

Now for an important prayer request…
Travis had surgery today and it did not go the way we had hoped. Travis is fighting an infection that has set him back. The doctors had to remove all grafts to aggressively treat the infection. This is a big set back and a" start over" with his legs. This is just like a spin out and having him move to the back of the line up—and you know our “hard charger” Travis, he will be back up there before you know it. Your prayers and support have given him determination and a fighting spirit, and I know that together we will get him back in the race soon. Okay TEAM TRAVIS, let’s support our racer and get him up front again, charging for that checkered flag of recovery.
This was from Travis’ aunt and we need to pray that the infection he has will go away. AGAIN, we can not thank you enough for all of your prayers and encouragement you have shown to this family. REMEMBER
P.U.S.H. (pray until something happens)
talk to you soon,


i cant even imagine the pain this poor guy is going thru. i will keep him in my prayers. thanks for the updates john… i hope he heals soon but i think he has a long road ahead.
carolwicks aka oz

Better late than never, but here is the latest report I’ve gotten about how Travis is coming along:

From Shauna Smith Rhodes, Thursday at 6:04pm

Travis is out of surgery and it went well. The Dr.s were able to begin the grafting process again! We are back on track and racing again!!! He is in a lot of pain, but the outlook is much better.

Thank you all for your prayers. Our Hard Charger is one determined young man and will be on track and charging forward …once again! Your prayers and support are greatly appreciated. Thank you, thank you

Shauna Smith Rhodes, August 23, 2010 at 5:13pm
Subject: Update Monday afternoon
Update on Travis: Dressing change this morning… arms are coming along and legs are getting there…Next Surgery #8 is Wednesday!! Thank you all for your prayers- Shauna

good news. :wink:

thoughts and prayers are with you Travis. I admire your courage. Keep up the fight!

Travis is coming along very well. Physical therapists are working with him more aggressively. His feeding tube has been removed and he is getting three actual meals per day. He has been sitting up in a chair several hours per day and walks on his floor a couple of times a day. He will be moved to a regular floor sometime this week.

Keep praying for Travis as it is working and the miracle is happening.

WTG Travis…

good news. thanks for sharing. that guy has some kind of courage. the pain must be excruciating… God is good.
carolwicks aka oz

From Shauna Smith Rhodes September 13, 2010 at 11:51am

Subject: from yesterday

Today makes 8 weeks and Travis will be coming home soon! He is dressing himself, working out, and walking the halls regularly. He still has some areas that are not healing as quickly, we are hoping for improvement. His determination and will to recover have been instrumental in his recovery. This would not be possible without the love and support you all have shown. -