October 5, 2022
Supporting Like Family
Thank you to ABF!
About a month ago, my father Joe and I were working on the carburetor to my old 84 Chevy Silverado. As my father was holding a cup of gas, pouring into the carburetor, it backfired and caught my father’s hand and arm on fire. When he tried to back away, he accidentally poured the cup of gas on his shirt and it flamed up! My father had a roaring flame of gas fire covering all his belly, chest and arm. He tried taking his shirt off but it was stuck, catching the right side of his face and hair on fire! It was a horrific and unbelievable trauma, to say the very least! I personally had never been so afraid and distraught in my life!
At the same time all of this was going on, the carburetor was still on fire and the 10-gallon tank on the ground somehow caught fire as well. Thank God, after a few seconds of panicking and freaking out a bit, I came to my logical senses and acted! I pulled my dad to the ground to stall out the flame (starving it from oxygen) patting him with my cap to stop the flames. When I got it stopped, I proceeded to taking a huge risk and chance slapping the flame of the carburetor then the gas tank on the ground!
I remember thinking this could literally be it for us as the flames had been burning for a few minutes while I was reacting to my father’s injury first.
I truly believe our Lord and Savior was with us this day! If the tank or carburetor had exploded, it would have been a fatality for my father and me. We were parked next to our house and two other trucks so everything could have ignited and caused a huge explosion. Not to mention, my mother was in the house as well!
After getting everything under control, I proceeded to rush my father to Gila Regional Medical Center. They immediately took him back, treating him and giving him pain meds – my poor father was in excruciating pain! In addition, his BP was through the roof… understandably!
The next thing we knew, my father was flown to Phoenix, AZ to the Arizona Burn Center at Valleywise Health. I went home immediately, packed just a few things, and drove the 5 long, scary, and stressful hours to Phoenix to be with my father!
After four surgeries and procedures, two long weeks at the burn center and one more week at Best Western hotel while waiting for my father’s follow up appointment, we were finally in a good place where we could go home and continue the process of cleaning, changing my dad’s bandages and healing! In addition, his pain was manageable enough as well!
All this that came out of nowhere and was very scary, hard, and tiring for us!
What got us through it was our strong faith in our Lord and Savior and of course, the wonderful people at Arizona Burn Foundation! We were very fortunate and blessed to be put in touch with Kelsey from ABF through the social worker at the Arizona Burn Center at Valleywise Health. Kelsey and ABF were a total blessing! So kind, compassionate and caring! During my three-week stay, Kelsey and ABF set me up with lodging at Best Western Downtown Phoenix for our entire stay! Not to mention, Kelsey made sure I had any and everything I needed! In fact, when I checked in to the motel, Kelsey had already left me a big ol red bag from ABF full of necessities and hygiene items! Then, as if that was not enough, Kelsey also made sure I had gas and food by providing me with gift cards and meal vouchers to the cafeteria at the hospital during my stay! She also kept in touch with me the entire time making sure we had what we needed! Kelsey being there for us felt like a family member with us the whole time. Then, on our last day after the follow up appointment, Kelsey again met up with us and handed me another gas card to get us back home to New Mexico!
WOW… outstanding! Cannot say enough about the Arizona Burn Foundation and Kelsey! Not only for all the help had they provided us with, but for being there for us like a family member having our backs during our tough and difficult time! Best I can do is give thanks and prayer for Kelsey and all at ABF! From the very bottom of my and my families hearts! May our lord bless and protect you all…keep up the good and important work you do! That is so greatly appreciated!