Country star Garth Brooks visits burn victims after reading story online

Karin McKemey had a surprise visitor Tuesday at the Augusta, Ga., hospital where she and her son Connor are recovering from burns: country star Garth Brooks.

Brooks visited with Karin and her family Tuesday evening after reading about the incident online, she said.

"It was a complete shock," said Karin, who had never met the star before. "I'm a fan, and my son is a fan."

Brooks brought gifts for Connor, including an autographed guitar and football, T-shirts, DVDs and hats, said Karin, who had undergone surgery that day.

"He said he wanted to come and see how we were and to pray for Connor," Karin said.

Calls to Brooks' publicist were not returned Friday.

Karin said Brooks told her that he was visiting family members who lived near the burn hospital when he read postings about the accident on the Caring Bridge Web site.

"It shows his heart and spirit, to take time away from his family and come here," she said.

Because of Connor's condition, Brooks was not able to visit him, said Karin.

However, the football Brooks autographed has been placed in Connor's room in a clear sterile bag. Any object in Connor's room has to be sterilized to protect him from infection, said Karin.

When Connor's condition improves, the McKemeys will put the guitar in his room.