July 4th 2012 was the most unpleasant day in my life. I was at home doing yard-work in the afternoon when I noticed smoke rising from the house I lived in, an electrical fire had started near to the center of the old rancher. My two dogs (6 year old mother and 10 month old son) were inside the house. My immediate thought was that I could not let them burn alive. On instinct and adrenaline I went into the blazing house and managed to get both of my dogs out of the fire. The whole time trying to hold my breath and moving in a crouch trying to hold my breath. After retrieving my dogs, I sat at the front of my house and awaited the arrival of police and fire crews. Sadly the mother did not survive the fire due to too much smoke inhalation. I spent approximately a month in the hospital recovering from second and third degree burns to approximately 30-40% of my body.
During my stay at the VGH burn ward, my employer rallied support from numerous of our liquor industry sales representatives and suppliers, asking for donations for a silent auction fundraiser which was held on August 4th. As well I was informed about the BCHF and its support of individuals who are facing financial crisis due to health issue ( such as my accident). I was encouraged to apply for support. The BCHF matched funds raised on August 4th and presented me with a cheque for $4000 which has been used amongst other things to help purchase furnishings for my apartment.
Without the support from the B.C. Hospitality Foundation, my employers, industry suppliers and of course my family in Victoria ; I would definitely be struggling financially and emotionally. I am sincerely grateful for all this support that has allowed me to resume my life and employment in a timely manner.