Posted on August 14, 2017
June 11th 2017…. around 3:30am I was in and out of sleep. Feeling like I was suffocating, but thinking I was just dreaming. It was silent in the house…no alarms. Nothing. Surely, I was just dreaming. Trying hard to fall back asleep, the Lord physically sat me up in bed and told me to “Wake Up”. It was then, that I realized this was not a dream. I could not breathe. Jason was fast asleep, after having to shake him, he finally woke up. Jay sat up in bed and for a brief second, we looked around and noticed our room was black…. filled with smoke. The feeling that came over my body in that very moment, I don’t even know how to describe…it goes far beyond fight or flight…beyond fear, beyond panic.
“We are NOT dying going to burn alive” ...Jason instantly grabbed me and pulled me out of bed. First instinct is to see what is happening. Still no alarms going off…
Still holding onto each other, we run into the kitchen, to see if there is a clear path to our doors. There it was…raging fire coming up the stairs and engulfing our kitchen. Flames keeping us from both of our doors out. Our house was black, so filled with smoke that the burning from that alone, was enough to make you drop to your knees. The brief second that we stepped into the kitchen, is when the heat first seared our skin.
Still no alarms…
At that point, the heat was so intense that I could no longer breathe or feel if Jason was still holding onto me. That’s we got separated. I turned around and ran to the furthest bedroom to try and knock a window out…thinking Jay was right behind me. The heat and the smoke was just moments away from keeping me from getting out. I could feel it physically pulling me down to the ground. If I didn’t not get out NOW, then there was no way I was going to make it.
I heard a hug bang and glass shatter. I scream as loud as I can for Jay, realizing that he is not with me. Did something explode? Did he pass out? Did he make it out? Is he still alive?!
Within a matter of seconds, I hear him running down the hallway, towards me. There he was. Alive, right there next to me. It was so Smokey in the house though, that I could not actually see him. I heard him and felt him grab onto me. We get the window open quickly, and he helps me out. It was the second the cool air outside touched our skin, that the pain hit. I just remember being on my hands and knees in the grass, trying to breathe…just trying to get some air in my lungs. Running my fingers through the grass trying to convince myself we are okay, you are outside. “Thank you Jesus, Thank you Jesus”. That’s all I could say.
Still, no alarms going off in the house.
Jason climbs out a few seconds later, scoops me up into his arms, and carries me over to a rain puddle to try and cool our skin down with cold water. Both of us calling out the name of Jesus over and over and over. “Thank you, Jesus! We are out. We are alive. Our lungs are clear in Jesus name. Our bodies are healed in Jesus name. WE ARE HEALED IN JESUS NAME” Jason prayed.
That is just a brief glimpse into what happened that morning. For those wondering, Jason and I have been renovating our home since November of 2016. We were nearly finished. The electrical was updated and all the smoke detectors/alarms were brand new and professionally installed. Not a single alarm went off. That is how Jason and I got trapped and did not get out sooner. The smoke alone, could have taken us in our sleep. The Lord had numerous people awake praying that night, specifically praying for us, without even knowing what for. My mother was one of those people. She was woken up at 1:30am to pray that morning, without knowing what she was praying for, she stayed awake for hours just being obedient to her call to pray. It was just 30minutes after going back to bed, that my mom got the phone call. She instantly knew what she, was than, praying for.
There is still no word on the cause of the fire. We have our assumptions, but for legal reasons, we are not discussing anything for the time being. We have not been given a living allowance yet, from insurance, so it has been all your financial support, that has been housing me and providing food and clothing for us. I cannot express enough, how greatly Jason and I (and our families) appreciate all of the support and prayers. To be covered in so much love, during such a tragic time, is so comforting. It is a very strange feeling, to have no home, and none of your belongings. But it is such a wonderful feeling to be alive. To have each other and be surrounded by such wonderful friends and family.
As far as Jason’s recover goes, there has been unheard of progress. As of Monday, July 31st, Jason is finished with skin grafting surgeries! He has defied all the odds, and has been the talk of the burn unit, since he got there. Now staff and doctors are admitting that he is a miracle. That they are just tools, in his case. But that the Grace of God has healed him at a miraculous pace. They have seen nothing like him. These doctors have worked on thousands of patients and have seen the worst of the worst. Nurses have been working in the unit for 40+ years, and are in awe of him. The last patient who was even less severe than Jay (other patient 80% burn) was in the burn unit for 15 months, before leaving for rehab. I am so proud and so excited to say that the next phase of recovery has started. Jason is now at Glenrose Rehabilitation Center.
Jason has learned how to walk again, how to use his hands again, and is becoming more independent with each day that comes. While its frustrating and very painful at times, as one can imagine, to learn how to do the little AND the big things all over again, he is encouraged with his progress and is motivated to gain his strength, weight, health and mobility back. Jason holds the record for the quickest “admitted and discharged” acute burn patient at the U of A.
There is so much to tell. So many miracles and are intertwined throughout the past 9 weeks. As the days go by, I will tell you more about that morning, and the miracles, as well as keep you up to date on Jason’s progress. This next phase is going to require a lot of focus from both Jason and I, but we know we are not doing it alone. God has been so faithful, He is not going to stop now. He is going to see us through and get ALL the praise.
Jason has still respectfully requested that he be given more time to heal, before visitors start to come. His days are now very long, tiring, and honestly, it is still a sensitive time. Though he would love to see you all, he is easily exhausted, and just needs more time. He has lost a decent amount of weight, and there is a lot of constant discomfort that comes with recovering from such a severe burn. When Jason is ready, please trust that we will let you know.