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)
$35,109
of $75,000 goal.
Raised by 230 donors
46% 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 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.


Posted on October 2, 2017

UpdateImage

Posted on October 2, 2017

I’ll keep this one short and sweet for tonight!

“Well Mr. Reece…you seem to be in the business of breaking records. So here is another one for you; “Quickest discharge for a burn patient at Glenrose rehabilitation Center, with the most amount of improvement.”

On August 28th, just 17 days after being admitted, Jason was discharged from Glenrose rehabilitation Hospital! This came as a very early surprise to us, so we have taken the past few weeks to lay low and process all the changes in our life. Celebrate all the miracles that have happened, and just simply breathe. Although Jason has been discharged from the rehabilitation center, all but a few hours of the day, are dedicated to stretching, working out, resting, and appointments. This stage without a doubt, takes a great deal of focus, determination, and strength…physical and emotional.

Your continued prayers have kept us comforted and encouraged through this season in life. While we have not been able to individually say thank you to everyone who have supported us in prayer and/or financially, please know that we are so grateful for you ALL. This has been a very humbling time. We often find ourselves speechless and in tears, not only thinking about how good our God is, but how blessed we are by all of you who have been with us every step of the way. We thank you, so very much.

As of today, here is what has happened in the past 16 weeks...

June 11th: Jason and I woke up to our house in flames, trapped inside, barely making it out alive. Shortly after we were admitted to the U of A burn unit, Jason sustained 2nd and 3rd degree burns over 95% of his body. I had 1st, and 2nd degree burns over 20% of my body.Jason was unstable and on life support.

June 17: I was discharged form the burn unit. Jason was still unstable.

Jason underwent 5 skin grafting surgeries in 6 weeks.

August 11th: Jason set many records and was discharged from the burn unit!

August 11th: Jason was addmited to Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital.

August 28th: Jason was discharged from rahab.

Many MANY things have happened in between and there is still a very long road ahead if us, but we continue to stay positive, stay thankful, and are so happy to be alive. We serve such a faithful God. Not once, has he failed us. His purpose and plan may not be clear all the time, but He has one. We choose to trust in that, and let Him guide our days. We certainly could not do this without Him.

Fun Fact: Jason, before our house fire, was a lean 175.
When he was discharged on August 11th, he weighed 128 pounds.
TODAY HE WEIGHS 170!!!!
Shout out to his mom and her cooking the past few weeks!


Posted on August 14, 2017

UpdateImage

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.

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