CHICAGO (CBS) — Two young brothers badly injured in a fire last weekend in Lake Station, Ind. remain in the hospital, but their family says they are doing better.
One-year-old Landon Teel and his brother, 3-year-old Andrew Collins, suffered burns and smoke inhalation when fire destroyed their home last Saturday night. The boys’ mother, Jennifer Teel, 29, died in the fire and will be buried this Tuesday.
The grandmother of the boys tells CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot their recovery is nothing short of a miracle. The boys have been upgraded from critical to serious condition, but remain in the intensive care.
The brothers were taken off ventilators yesterday. They’re still being given oxygen and trying to talk.
Andrew and Landon have severe airway injuries from smoke inhalation. The children, however, have made tremendous strides since being airlifted to University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital.
Andrew’s grandmother held him for the first time since the fire this weekend.
“I loved every minute and I loved it when my grandson reached for me and wanted to be held,” Maria Jones said. “I know they’re getting back to normal.”
Landon suffered third- and fourth-degree burns. He has had skin grafts on his arm, back and legs. Andrew has lung damage.
So far, the boys haven’t asked about their mother. But Jones expects that to change.
She says the outpouring of support has been tremendous. Firefighters held a benefit at a Merrillville mall today, called “Fill the Boot,” to collect donations.
There have been visits from the firefighters — among them, those who saved the boys’ lives. There have been toy and clothes donations. The Collins/Teel Benefit for The Family Fund has been set up for the boys at Centier Bank in Portage, Ind.
“I’m just so happy that that many people are out there and cared enough for my grandkids, to want to help them,” Jones said.
Jones says people continue to pray for the children. Landon may have to start rehab because of those skin grafts on his legs.
It will be about a week or two before the boys head home. When they do, Jones says the tree will be up, and they’ll be celebrating Christmas — no matter what day it is.