“On March 7, 1999, my life and my family were changed forever by a horrific, four-alarm fire in our house. In the middle of the night, I awoke to smoke in the house. My husband, James, was able to rescue our four older boys, but a burning bookcase fell on me and pinned me down as I attempted to rescue our twin 22-month-old boys. James got me out from under the bookcase and out of the house, then went back through a window and rescued one of the twins before the roof collapsed. Six weeks later I awoke from a coma in the local hospital’s burn unit with third-degree burns to more than 55 percent of my body. Even worse, I discovered my other 22-month-old twin boy, Amos, could not be rescued after the roof collapse and passed away. The fire caused varying degrees of burn injuries for all of us and we were informed that our home and all our possessions were lost in the fire. I spent over two months in the hospital and then a year and a half in physical therapy. Prayer helped me get through it.
There are moments in life that change you forever; the death of Amos was such a moment for me. Nothing in life makes any sense unless there is something positive that comes from such as tragic loss. The pain has been turned into compassion, the loss has been turned into understanding, the emptiness has been turned into a life of renewed purpose. I have dedicated myself to help other families who have been affected by burn trauma. I founded The Amos House of Faith, named after the son I lost, and I work with the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors and local hospital to teach, help, and inspire others who are battling their burn injuries. It’s my way to give back to the burn community that helped me through my long and arduous recovery. In honor of Amos, I chose to join Common Voices in an effort to teach people about a solution — fire sprinklers — to preventing these types of tragedies.”