Tom and Lindsay McKinnon have been discharged from the hospital and are asking for the community to turn their attention to their friend who suffered burns while trying to help save their children Patrick and Logan McKinnon. Here is the statement from the McKinnons:
A week ago today, Tom and I were anxiously awaiting the arrival of our good friends, The Montoyas. We were cleaning the guest room, planning meals, and discussing where our collective children would sleep that night. In the guest room with Zak & Christy? Should they build a nest in the family room made with piles of sleeping bags and pillows? Our children LOVED each other and we knew they would want to be close. The boys counted down the minutes until their arrival and were racing to see who could hug whom, first. It was a big house, and upon their arrival, the kids decided to sleep in the rooms upstairs, girls in Patrick’s room on the bunk beds, boys in Logan’s room on the beds that were passed down for generations. Dinner lead to our traditional play time outside, which lead to our traditional movie on the couch with a huge cuddle puddle. The kids fell asleep wrapped in each other’s arms, Patrick holding Gigi, Logan racked out by Bella. We picked them up from the couches, their legs and arms wrapping around our torsos, and brought them to their rooms, kissing their foreheads with prayers of gratitude for yet another beautiful, sacred day with friends who are really more like family.
We awoke to flames blazing, poisonous, black smoke billowing in every corner, the power and electricity burning out, screams and disorientation everywhere. We couldn’t find each other. We couldn’t see our hands in front of our faces. We couldn’t breathe. It was a living nightmare, and still is. Somehow, by the Grace of God, I was able to locate the girls and put them on my lap as we slid down the stairs and crawled out the kitchen door. I wish with all my heart I could say the same for my boys.
Each and every one of us kept running inside to get the boys. Every attempt was met with a wall of flames or smoke that would not allow us through.
Christy was the last one to get in, and as she pushed through the walls she was engulfed in the flames herself, slamming her back down the stairs into disorientation. Zak somehow found her and catapulted her out the door where she collapsed into my arms, severely burned.
The one comfort that has been helpful to Tom and I is the fact that our boys, Patrick and Logan, were together as they always have been. They went to sleep that night in the comfort and love of family and friends, and they woke up in heaven with armies of angels welcoming them, some more familiar than others.
Tom and I have been discharged from the hospital, but Christy still has a long journey of physical healing ahead. Her surgery went well, partially due to her strength and will and pure desire to hold her children again. Her recovery will be painful. While trying to help others to safety Christy suffered third degree burns to her arms, back, shoulders, airway and hands. Her arms were burned all the way around and her palms were burned which could lengthen her recovery and limit her dexterity. Christy is a hairdresser. She works with her hands. She helps provide for her family with her hands.
Tom and I are so grateful to the many communities we have been involved in that have fully outpoured their love and support in ways that render us in pure awe and wonder. And by the Grace of God we all were transferred from the trauma unit in Roanoke, to the burn center that happened to be in my home town. That’s a God-thing. It’s challenging to digest the love we feel and the prayers that have continually been lifted.
We are not leaving Christy and Zak’s side until she is safely discharged from the hospital. I am on my knees grateful that she is alive. I am in no position to ask any of you for anything more than you have already done, and I feel sure that The Montoyas would say the same. And yet… I AM ASKING… pleading… praying. Please turn your attention to our friends who so bravely faced that tragic fire with us, who so bravely acted upon impulse as mothers, and fathers, and family, and friends do. They desperately need to be lifted in the same way you have lifted and embraced us. What ever you can donate, financially and tangibly. They are equally as impacted by that night one week ago. They will need our collective support for MONTHS to come, as will their girls. True they still have a house to go home to eventually, but their medical bills and careers will be severely impacted by this tragedy.
Please follow the link here to make your contribution in love and faith that healing will come soon www.youcaring.com/christymontoya, and please know that Tom and I are forever in awe, forever grateful, forever held by each of you.
With so much Love always,
And in All Ways,
Lindsay & Tom McKinnon
To donate to Christy Montoya click here.