I was sleeping soundly. It had been a long day, but wonderful. There had been food and presents this Christmas Day. I was so very tired. Outside, my dad was in a drunken stupor screaming at my mom. How many times in the last week had he been drunk? Last week, when my mom took me to get medicine from Ate Cher, he was drunk then too… I remember cuz she really yelled at him.

It was midnight… everyone was sleeping but for this couple… fighting… again. Without warning, the husband suddenly ran into their little house, and in a rage threw down the oil lamp. It exploded right where little J.R. was sleeping. The mother screamed and ran to grab her baby as the house exploded in flames. “Fire! Fire!”  Neighbors woke and ran… all their shacks made of wood, the fire engulfed them all. They escaped with the clothes are their back.

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Kuya Martin, the only other burn victim, the father of the family next door to J.R., didn’t know his little children had got out and in a panic ran back to check… the fire had devoured his house and he fell… the flames licking his back and arms. He almost didn’t make it. He crawled on his hands and knees to the open area and others helped him out… but not before he had 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree burns over most of his body.

In just 3 hours, every house under the bridge was gone.  When the news reached us that the burned victims had been brought to the local hospital, we went into action. Setting up a bed and organizing our medical supplies, we had him discharged into our care. We had lost 2 kids from Escopa in the last 6 months in that hospital and were not about to lose another.

When they arrived, little J.R. was listless and pale. His breath was slow. The mother was sobbing uncontrollably… 3 hours in the emergency room and the doctors had done nothing. When I sent someone to get him discharged, the doctor didn’t blink. Just released him.

He is a brave little boy.

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His little face is swollen, his eyes do not open. His head is covered in huge blisters that make his head look odd shaped. His lips are full of blisters, his cheeks blackened from the burn.

Both thighs and both arms were burnt. His hands are swollen 3 times their size… edema setting in because of the degree of the burn. Something like 45 per cent of his body, suffered burns.

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He doesn’t whimper… just quietly drinks his bottle when it is placed in his mouth… we sit beside his bed 24 hours a day. Praying the cough that rattles in his chest won’t turn to pneumonia. How much smoke he inhaled, we don’t know.

We have not seen the parents. The news is they are in jail, charged with arson and manslaughter. We are waiting for news.

Please pray for this little boy. God can heal him. Thank you to those who have responded so quickly. We have been able to buy the expensive antibiotics we needed and the special food supplement that is so costly. We couldn’t do this without your help.

We’ll keep you updated on this little one.

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