Jason & Amanda Fire & Rehibilitation Fund

For: Amanda James Reece & Jason Reece
Edmonton, AB, Canada
Organizer: Cristy Bennett-Gilmer
Jason & Amanda Fire & Rehibilitation Fund (Amanda James Reece & Jason Reece)
$35,199
of $50,000 goal.
Raised by 232 donors
70% Complete

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 December 7, 2017

UpdateImage

Posted on December 7, 2017

Day 180.

After a four-month hiatus from the hospital, we are back to get “extra handsome” (as his surgeons say).

This morning Jason had his sixth (total) surgery, since our house fire, on June 11th. The first five of those surgeries were major skin grafts (92%TBSA) that happened the first six weeks of injury. All of which were miraculously successful.

The past four months has been completely dedicated to Jays health and recovery. It has been our full-time job. Those who survive such great burns, are considered to have to longest and most difficult road to recovery.  It changes your appearance, your mobility, and the trauma alone, that one lives with after literally being burned alive…it’s life changing. With that said, Jason will never be a “burn victim”.  He is a victim to nothing. With the amazing grace of Jesus Christ, everyday he overcomes the enormous task at hand. He has overcome the flames and is being renewed an restored everyday. God has given him a strength that I have never seen before.  Physically, spiritually and emotionally. After realizing how crippling his injuries could be, he made a choice to turn that into motivation. HE tells his body what it will do, not the other way around. Rather than laying down and letting this overwhelm him, he chooses to fight.

The first six hours of his day, Jay stretches, to keep the scar tissue from contracting(crippling him). After that, he puts in a full workout at the gym. Comes home, stretches again, sleeps, repeat. He does this, without an ounce of complaining. I can honestly say that very few people would be able to endure what he has, and continues to, daily. I admire him. I am so proud of him. The courage he has had through this season, blesses and encourages me. I know his journey will be used to reach people from all walks of life, facing all kids of struggles. The purpose behind this becomes clearer to us, everyday. There are somethings that can only be learned, in the dark. There is level of growth, that comes only from great struggle. There is a peace and reassurance that is only felt when completely broken. Our darkest seasons, turn into our greatest calling. We choose to find our purpose in each day.

Today’s surgery consisted of:

-Lower eyelid release… Due to scaring on his face, his skin became so tight that is pulled his lower eyelids down. Four the past four months, Jays eyes have not been able to completely close. This surgery was crucial to maintain the health of his eye.

-Release of webbing between his thumb and index finger (both hands)

-Multiple laser treatments to reduce redness and thickness of scaring on: face, neck, chest, arms, and hands.

In the future, there will be more laser treatments and surgeries to help relive tightness and increase motility.

Fun fact: When Jason was discharged form the burn unit on August 11th, he weighed 128 pounds. Today, he weighs in at a lean 180 pounds! Pure muscle. His hard is paying off and has his surgeons in awe. They admit that Jay’s recovering is not just because of his hard work or the work they have done on him, but that it is divine. I love how evident it is to them. Our God is so good. He gets all the praise.

Here is a picture of my handsome hero, before he headed off to “get pretty” this morning. 😊


Posted on November 14, 2017

Posted on November 14, 2017

Today marks five months since our house fire.

Nothing about this journey has been easy. We still have a long road ahead of us, BUT rough this all we see just how much we have, to be thankful for. We see how many miraculous things have happened. We often look at each other and say "What a blessing it is to simply be alive and to have each other."

There are daily struggles and battles. First reaction is to ask God to take it all away. Take the flash backs away. Take the physical and emotional pain away....
Now I have come to see that there must be purpose in EVERYTHING. While He did not cause this to happen, He does have a plan to use it. I don't just want Everything to go away...I want To be different. We want to be changed. To have the strength to walk right down the middle of what Christ is walking us through, right now.

Everyone can relate to needing His grace and strength. The battle of relying on your flesh, or relying on Him. Today, I encourage you to trust Him. We get in His way too often, thinking we can do it all on our own. We weren't meant to take the trials of life, on our own. Step back and look at your situation differently. Sometimes, the very thing we are asking Him to remove, is what His is trying to reveal himself through. Just give it to Him❤️

June 11, 2017. November 11, 2017.




Posted on October 12, 2017

Posted on October 12, 2017

Being private people, Jason and I don't always talk about every area of this season in life. 
We have come to realize that this is a journey. And while mountains have been moved and miracles have happened and continue to happen, part of our story, also involves a great deal of pain. A unimaginable amount of struggle, and a battle that we never planned on being in. But as God fearing people, we have always asked that God use us as individuals and as a couple, to touch people. To help change lives. 
The very first thing Jason did, after asking me to marry him 4 years ago, was grab my hands and pray over us. Our marriage, our future, and that we would live a life together that honors Christ. 
So while we did not foresee ever going through something like this, we did ask to be used in big ways, for the kingdom. I know God did not cause this to happen. He did not create the pain and suffering, but He did say to trust Him to get us through it. That there is ALWAYS a way, with Him. In the Bible, He said we would have trials and tribulations on this earth. There is an enemy with a plan to kill, steal and destroy. Constantly working against you. Trying to break you.The key to it all, is to lift your eyes, and fix them on Him. He will carry you through the flames. HE will be your refuge in the storm.
You do not need to know "WHY", you need to trust Him to bring you revelation. His plan is greater and bigger than anything we can dream of. He can and WILL turn our mourning into joy, and sorrow into dancing again. If you love and trust Him, that is His promise. 
I trust His timing. I trust His plan. 
I trust Him.

The part about our story that you do not see, is the daily struggle to function. Jason, while months ahead of schedule, and breaking records, still has never ending discomfort.The thing about sever burns, is the scar tissue and its unrelenting effort to cripple anything it can. 
The scar tissue is working 24/7 (for upwards of 2 years) to adhere to the tendons and stay there. If Jason is not stretching and constantly working out, the scar tissue is than working harder than him. That is what is known to cripple people who have been severely burned. Jason makes incredible ground during the day, all to go to sleep at night and wake up stiff and stuck, again. Jay refers to this as "T-Rex syndrome" (yes he still has a great attitude and sense of humor through all of this😊) .

Our skin, Jason's much more than mine, is painfully sensitive. In some of the deeper injured areas, the nerves have not redeveloped yet, leaving areas unable to feel. The heat hurts. the cool air is painful. The rain burns our skin. 
One minute your hot, the next your freezing cold. Our nerves are constantly saying something.

Jason has lost many sweat glands, so his body is learning how to regulate its temperature. This makes it easy for him to overheat. 
His skin is so tight, that often times when he stretches, the skin wants to tear and bleed. This is everyday.
Yes, each day brings improvements and steps forward, but there are also days where it feels like we take a few steps back. That is how this process goes. It requires the absolute most focus and determination.

Most burn survivors, lose limbs, and many times, their face and all their features. Jason has every limb. He still has ears, his hair has grown back, and he still looks like Jason. Once his skin heals, there are many treatment options to help reduce the scaring on his body and face. As Jay puts it, he is a "human quilt". Pieced back together from his neck down. He will bare the scars of this for the rest of his life.

Another thing we deal with daily, are the flash backs. So vivid and real that it feels like it is happening all over again. The nightmares...ones you can't wake up. We scream and yell in our sleep. 
Although we are safe now, subconsciously we are still burning in a fire...still suffocating in smoke. Our sleep cycle has changed. Our bodies don't seem to want to sleep now, until the sunrises....

This is a piece of the real and raw truth about our journey. With all of that said, we CHOOSE to stay fixed on Christ. The one who saved us. We trust the plan, His purpose. Even when it hurts like hell, we still praise Him. Everyday we have to make the decision to keep moving forward. Keep breathing, keep working hard and letting our Father take on the rest. We simply could not do this without Him.

Your prays, are still needed, and appreciate. I know I've said it before, but they truly lift us up through the day. It encourages us. It reminds us that although this process is Jason and I all the way, we are not alone. The Lord has used you, to pick us up. He has surrounded us with love and covered us with grace. We are so blessed to have so many of you praying for us. I cannot say that enough. 
Your financial support has touched us more than we can express. Jason will be unable to work for sometime. To be able to focus on each other and our health, during this time, is a tremendous blessing. One that someday, we pray we will be able to provide for others in need.

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