Fred Durso

Losing his fiancee in historic fire, burn survivor describes painful aftermath

Blog Post created by Fred Durso Employee on Apr 11, 2016

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In his previous post, NFPA blogger Rob Feeney discussed the nightmares and realities he experienced following the Station Nightclub fire in 2003. Grappling with the death of his fiancée, Donna, and his own injuries from the fire, Feeney underscores a burn survivor's long and arduous road to recovery:
While in the hospital, I had many visitors—in particular, Donna’s family and the priest that was going to marry Donna and me. Since Donna left behind two daughters (8 and 11 years old), I wanted to tell them how sorry I was and that it should have been me that was buried, not her. They didn’t blame me. They wanted me to concentrate on my own physical healing and promised they would be there to boost my damaged body and heart. However, I still felt responsible. I didn’t feel I deserved anyone helping me.

 

My first few days of regaining consciousness were confusing. In fact, it took more than two years to completely separate reality from my morphine dreams. My first day awake, there was a nurse in my room with an accent. Shelley Kelly Lewis, hailing from Nebraska, was part of a federal effort to assist with a large amount of burn injuries from the Station. Shelley became the most important person to me. She was my mental and emotional rock. By my side 18 hours a day, she told me she would make sure I get through this. At the time, part of me believed what Shelley said while the rest of me wanted to die.

Read the rest of Rob's post by visiting NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog.

Outcomes