(CBS) — A father and his two young children survive a fire. His wife — their mother — did not. After months of rehabilitation, the last of the two young children are finally heading home.
CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot reports.
“We’re going home,” father Gerardo Valdivia says. “No kid should be in the hospital this long.”
Valdivia fights back tears, speaking about his seven-year-old son, Gerardo “Gerry” Jr., and his two-year-old daughter Kiara. Both were badly burned when their Lawndale home caught fire in July.
The exact cause of the blaze that started in the living room, blocking their escape, is undetermined. Kiara has burns on 15 percent of her body. Her brother, about 25 percent.
Gerry Jr. does physical therapy to keep his limbs moving, especially his left arm, because of scar tissue.
“He hasn’t been any kind of complainer. He’s really pushed himself,” Dr. Michael Hobaugh of La Rabida Children’s Hospital says.
While the children’s physical injuries are healing, the emotional pain continues.
“The one thing that he wants and he needs, his mom, and I can’t give that to him,” their father says.
Their mother, Korissa Valdivia, died in the fire. She used her body to shield her children from the flames.
Valdivia says the first thing he’s going to do is take both of his children to Legoland in Schaumburg and then save up for a trip to Legoland in Orlando, Fla.
The family’s church is raising funds to help the family. Click here for more information.