As I sit here and attempt to recall this past week,
My heart hurts…
My eyes are filled with tears…
and my words are few…
I continue to try to wake myself up from this horrible nightmare… with no success!
These past 8 days have been the most difficult days I have ever experienced. All I can think about is:
How can I help 8 people near and dear to my broken heart?
My Best Friend, My Best Man at my wedding, my brother of 35 years and his beautiful family were in a horrible, terrifying, unthinkable, life-changing boat fire that burned him, my sister Katie ((who is literally the perfect person for my brother and loves him unconditionally) which just makes my heart smile) and my nephews, Dylan who is 9 years old and their baby Dominic who is 14 months old.
They were on a boat with Dustin’s best friend Joey and his wife Britney and their beautiful sons Landin who is 9 and Teegan who is 6 years old.
Joey and Dustin have been inseparable since Joey moved next door to us 27 years ago and crazy enough my nephew Dylan is 3 months apart from Joey’s son Landin… Like father like son, Dylan and Landin are best friends and have been since birth!
A flash fire occurred and what was supposed to be a weekend vacation turned into a weekend from hell. The boat’s engine exploded and all 8 on the boat were engulfed by the horrendous fire!
I will never forget Dustin’s call to me after this. As it was a nightmare of a call and my only concern was how could I get to him to help him.
My baby brother has/had third-degree burns all over his body from head to toe. He sacrificed everything to made sure everyone was off before him. He was the last one off the boat!
Over the past week, I have watched this broken man cry and wish that he could have done more! Little does he know… He was the hero and he did everything he could have done. Joey and Dustin worked as a team to get their families off the boat in this chaotic and tragic accident.
I asked Joey and Dustin at the hospital later that day, what this was like and they described it “as the worse thing they had ever experienced!” All they heard was two grown women (their wives) screaming in pain at the top of their lungs, their four sons screaming, crying, hyperventilating and looking for comfort from mom and dad… and these poor boys couldn’t find comfort from mommy or daddy because when they looked for help all they saw was… was their moms and dads on fire! It was indescribable from their eyes and even more painful from their parent’s eyes. Dustin told me that the sounds of their screaming cry’s were the worse sounds he had ever heard. I know what they were screaming for… Someone, anyone to please help! Someone to take the pain away! Someone to help their baby! Someone to take the pain away! Someone to help their little boy stop crying! Someone, anyone to just make it stop!
As they were getting out of the water, my sister Katie, told me that she gave her hand to someone on the dock to help her get out of the water. As she did this, the skin on her hand literally peeled off like the peeling of a carrot or mango, as she was being lifted out of the water. The pain was unbearable! All she could do was was cry and hope that someone would come to her rescue quickly!
They were carried to the grass area and laid their helplessly waiting and waiting for an ambulance to take them to the hospital to get help, however it seemed like forever. Katie told me that all she wanted was to have Dylan and or Dominic as close as she could, even if was just their little hand or arm or foot or whatever. She just wanted to get some sort of connection to their little loved one. In an attempt to comfort their scream, trying to comfort their ouchies, trying to take away their pain, and trying to just be a mommy and daddy after their skin was burnt off of their bodies.
The feeling of helplessness was like the fire that engulfed them. The Lee and Nixon family laid on the grass as they waited for the first responders to come and help. It seemed like forever as the paramedics had a 40-minute drive to the local hospital. My brother Dustin told me that he had never had such relief to hear the voices of the firefighters who were the first to arrive on the scene. Their spirit of encouragement lifted their fragile spirits, like the stretcher that lifted them into the ambulances.
Dustin and baby Dominic were airlifted to the hospital due to the severity of their burns, and as you can imagine my brother Dustin was denying them as he told them that it was too expensive! I just thank God that they used their intuition and experience “not” to listen as Dominic and Dustin’s frail bodies needed immediate help.
These families have a long road ahead of them. And they will get through it, but they are going to need their family and friends in this long journey ahead.
Please continue to pray… your prayers are being answered! Please continue to give if you are able, Dustin and Joey are so worried about how they are going to pay for their medical bills and then they are concerned with how lone before they can get back to work so that they can provide for their families. (they are both so stubborn and pigheaded that they don’t realize that this could be months before they’re cleared to go back to work!) as you know Dustin and Joe, they think that they are superhuman and normal physiologic’s don’t pertain to them! LOL
Again, thank you for your text messages, your Instagrams, Facebook Messages and all the donations you have given thus far!
Dustin & Katie and Joey & Brit are so grateful!!!
I love you so much Dustin, Katie, Joey, Britney Dylan, Landin, Teegan and baby Dom! I am praying for you with all of my heart and believing that everything will be okay.
With all of my love…
Your brother Bryan