Jason & Amanda Fire & Rehibilitation Fund

For: Amanda James Reece & Jason Reece
Edmonton, AB, Canada
Organizer: Cristy Bennett-Gilmer
$31,488
of $10,000 goal.
Raised by 203 donors
100% Complete
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The Story

Amanda & Jason lost their home to fire on Sunday, June 11th, 2017.  They lost their home and belongings but not their faith or each other.

There is so much to tell but for now we just need to set the site up because many are asking how they can help.  What is important to know:

Jason and Amanda are both in the major burn unit at the hospital.  Jason saved Amanda's life by running through the fire to get to her and lead her to safety.  He then dowsed their skin with water and drove them to a neighbors house so they could be taken to hospital.  While Amanda's burns have been downgraded to only 10% of her body (1st and 2nd degree burns), her burns are on her hands, arms, chest, face and back.  Amanda never came into contact with flames.  Jason on the other hand went through the fire to get to her, he sustained 3rd degree burns on 80% of his body.  He had his first surgery yesterday morning.

Jason is expected to be in the major burn unit for several months, then months of rehabilitation afterwards.  After Amanda is released, she will need to stay in Edmonton to help care for Jason.  In the meantime,  Amanda is from Oregon in the USA and her immigration papers have not completed yet (they are filed, it takes a while), so she is not covered under Canadian health care. 

These funds will be used to take care of her immediate needs and her housing, food and clothing for the interim. As Jason's healing progresses, additional needs will arise.  Right now we want to make sure that Amanda has what she needs to get her through since she should be released within the next two weeks. A room has already been reserved for her across from the hospital (at and excellent rate) so she can be with Jason daily.  Amanda's voice has been able to help calm him and bring his vitals down when needed.  She is medicine for him, hospital staff believe this also.

I am her mother and I am sitting in the hospital with her now.  Things are crazy busy and there seems to always be a flurry of activity surrounding the two of them but mostly Jason since his condition is critical.

Jason is intubated so he is unable to communicate with Amanda other than to slightly turn his head towards the sound of her voice or move his limbs. His eyes are healing from the smoke so he is also unable to open them or see right now.  They have a very strong faith in God and have put there complete and total trust in him.  We are believing for a miraculous out come for the both of them. 

We thank you for your prayers. They mean everything!

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on June 23, 2017

Posted on June 23, 2017

Well it has been 11 days since the fire and so much has happened. Amanda has had a remarkable recovery and I will update that in a moment. First an update on Jason, he has had 2 surgeries and continues to do well through every procedure. So far every threshold that needs to be meet has been met with positive results. There is still a very long journey ahead, but the last few days have been very good.  He has been sedated for much of the time and now they are lowering his sedation level as he continues to improve. He is now able to open both eyes and can communicate by shaking his head and moving his arms and legs.  He is so happy to see family and friends, but his favorite visitor is Amanda. Every time she enters the room his eyes widen when he sees her. Today, she was able to hold his hand on top of all the dressings.  This was the first time since the fire. It's so wonderful to witness them really able to communicate and be with each other.  The next big step is having his breathing tube removed so he can talk. He is breathing on his own and has been for some time, they just wanted to give it a few more days so he could rest, but it is on the docket within the next couple days.

There are so many people praying for Jason, lifting him up, sharing their messages and words of hope and encouragement. We know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is making all the difference in the world. He is being excellently cared for by some of the best burn & plastics surgeons in North America! We continue to give God glory for every day and every positive result. We know prayer works and are in awe of what he is doing on Jason's behalf.  We have not had many setbacks since he has been in the hospital.  

For now, we are currently working on getting an ipad for Jason's room. This way Amanda can watch movies with him, they liked to watch the Netflix show "The Ranch" and Jay has acknowledge that he is waiting to watch the newest season with Mandy. In addition we want family members to be able to read all the emails, prayers and well wish to him. They will also be able to read articles to him and listen to music as well as watch sermons on YouTube.  All of these things will bring back just a tad of normalcy to his long days in the Burn Unit.  We want to do anything we can to make his days a little bit easier.  We will continue to share updates on his progress, but for now want to be conservative with what we share until he is able to participate in the sharing himself.

Now for Amanda, she was released from the hospital on 6/19!  Her doctor had come into the room on the 18th to discuss the results of her scan and was preparing to talk with her about possibly needing surgery on her shoulder and a couple other spots on her hands and arms. When he unwrapped her dressing, Amanda said his eyes got very big and after examining her, he was quite pleased and said she was healed (those were his exact words). She was discharged the following day.  Amanda still has daily appointments in the burn unit for dressing changes and physical therapy but she is now staying in the hotel with me, across the street from the University of Alberta hospital in Edmonton.  She has been given 2 sets of custom made technical burn compression garments that she will need to wear daily for up to 2 years.  She must also "look like a celebrity" every time she goes out of doors or when sitting inside by windows.  Dark glasses, burn garments, & floppy hats will be required for the next 3 months.  She will also need to wear a 30 spf for the next year while her skin continues to heal. 

We have been taking pictures along the way so Amanda can journal her and Jay's journey through this storm. The hope is God will somehow use it for the benefit of others, when they are finally whole and able to just live again. I am unable to post many pictures here, but I will leave you with a picture of Amanda.  This picture was taken yesterday, 6/21. It was the first time we took a walk outside (after purchasing her some clothing because she had none).  We needed to go pick up a few groceries. The walk was a bit ambitious and totally pooped her out but she said it was so good to be outside and feel the sun again (even if she was covered up).  

Please know that each and every donation that has been made, has been truly appreciated and has eased an immediate burden from Amanda's shoulders.  There has been such and outpouring of generosity from family,   friends and complete strangers. What a blessing you all have been, you have helped to lessen some of the major issues that are still ahead of this couple.  And especially for Amanda as she will be separated from Jason, outside the hospital for an indefinite period of time.  She is strong, Jason is strong, they will make it!  In the meantime, your generosity has purchased clothing for Amanda (it will be some months before Jason will need any), and you are the ones helping to meet initial needs like medicine, food, housing and clothing.  

As always, we continue to pray for each and everyone of you as well, that you will be blessed and that you will prosper!


Posted on June 18, 2017

Posted on June 18, 2017

Oh my word! How can we possibly begin to say thank you for what you all have done out of the kindness of your heart?  There wasn't a dry eye in the room as Amanda read thru your comments, shared memories, prayers and well wishes (I had to snap a photo because she was so moved). We have been praying for a hundred-fold return on each persons/families gift.  We pray that God will bless you above and beyond what you have sown into Jason and Amanda.  Please understand that it is hard to comment on each individual donation now due to the nature of the circumstances, but at some point (probably a few weeks after she is out of the hospital and adjusted to her new routine with Jay), Amanda wants to reply to each and every one of you on their behalf (hopefully with Jay’s help). Here is a very important part of their survival story that Amanda wants to tell you about.  It is about the unsung HEROS of that morning, neighbors John and Gloria Phipps.  John and Gloria are near and dear to Jason and Amanda's heart and the feeling is mutual. Here are Amanda's words: "Just after making it out of the house, Jason led me to the front yard and dowsed both of us in a water puddle to stop the burning.  Following Jason's lead, we both dropped to our knees and started thanking GOD for our lives, that our lungs would clear, that our skin was healed and our bodies are healed. We kept thanking Jesus for it over and over.  After we prayed, we knew it was time to find help." Jay picked me up and carried me to the truck then we headed down the road to John and Gloria's. Once we pulled into their driveway Jason started going into shock. I hopped out of the truck and ran to their house and started banging on the front door crying out their names! Within in moments the lights came on and John was opening the front door. John looked at me with startled eyes and I said, "Our house is on fire, we just woke up and barely made it out, Jay is in the truck and he needs help now!"  John immediately covered me with a house coat just as Gloria ran into the room.  Gloria is a former nurse and immediately took charge and went into nurse mode as she was wetting towels in the sink, Jay had made his way up to the front door.  Details of this time start to get blurry here because I had began shaking and was nauseous. I was dizzy and everything was hurting, I was going into shock.  But what I do remember, was Gloria covering Jay with as many cold cloths as she had on hand and then covering him with a house coat.  At the same time, they were talking out loud about what they needed to do next to get us to help as fast as they could.  John took Jay out to the truck and put him in the back seat then he came back for me and helped me in next to Jay. I looked at the clock on the dash and saw it was 4:08 am.

The drive into emergency took about 20 minutes.  Gloria drove a separate vehicle into the hospital and phoned ahead to tell them we were on the way, as well as called the fire department to dispatch them to our home. Jay's father was also called (Jay's mother was visiting relatives in California). Once we got to the hospital Jay looked at me and said, "I love you, and we are going to be okay!" When we entered the hospital, Gloria's nursing expertise was exemplified as she spent her time going between our rooms and acting as our advocate. She made sure that our transportation to the Burn Unit in Edmonton was coordinated as well as called my parents in the states to let them know what had happened.  John and Gloria were our lifeline, they were also the connection point for my parents for the first couple of hours before we were transported.  We are so thankful to the Lord that they were home, because they were supposed to be gone. As a matter of fact, they had decided to come home early from their weekend activity and had only pulled into their driveway at 2:00 am.  2 hours before we showed up at their door.  The way we see it, this was clearly the hand of God. Thank you again for all your love and support, you will never know how truly grateful we are and how much we can feel the support. My burns are healing well and the last 24 hours have been very good for Jason.


Posted on June 18, 2017

Posted on June 18, 2017

Here is a photo from this morning.

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