Joe : A man who suffered devastating

Joe : A man who suffered devastating

A man who suffered devastating 3rd- and 4th-degree burns to over 40% of his body after surviving the deadly Station nightclub fire has shared his joy at the birth of his baby daughter!!⁣

This is Joe. On February 20th, 2003 while enjoying a rock concert with a girlfriend, a special effects malfunction caused a fire to break out after using pyrotechnics in their set.⁣

A hundred people died and more than 200 were injured as concert-goers desperately tried to escape. Some, like Joe and his former girlfriend, suffocated among the crowd.⁣

The nightclub was way over capacity. Realizing quickly what was going on I made my way from near the front row to the nearest exit. In an effort to protect Karla, I placed my leather vest over her.⁣

As we made it towards the exit people fell in front of me and then on top of me. Karla suffocated and did not survive, but she was not burned.⁣

I was trapped and conscious throughout the entire ordeal. I could hear everything going on around me. The sounds of yelling were quite loud. Then it grew quieter and quieter. Then it was just me.⁣

Next, I heard the voice of a firefighter, “we’ve got one over here.”⁣

After suffering burns to 40 per cent of his body and nearly losing his scalp, he spent a year in hospital undergoing skin grafts. He lost his fingers, toes and his left eye. ⁣

To date I have had 128 tune-ups (surgeries) and counting. I will continue to have surgeries for the rest of my life.⁣

But in 2007 he met Carrie, who herself had been burned as a child, at a burn victims conference. They are got engaged after 2 years and welcomed their first child Hadley shortly after.⁣

“Hadley’s so cute. I feel happy, nervous, fulfilled. Nobody knows what’s coming in an hour or two or five. I’m just determined to be the best dad I can be.⁣

I went into surgery to receive a hand transplant – so now I can feel my baby daughter’s soft hair.”

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