The 2-year-old sustained second-degree burns covering over 30 percent of his body.
It's a call no first responder would ever want to receive. Finding out something terrible has happened in their own home and to someone they love. Shelby Jankowski was volunteering as a first responder in Enderlin, North Dakota when the devastating call came in. The emergency call made to the fire department was from her home address in the community of Enderlin. On Tuesday afternoon she discovered that her son's mattress had caught fire and he had been badly injured in the incident. He is only 2 years old.
Shelby's emergency response partner, Tim Owen told KVLY-TV that this call was one he'd never forget in his life. He's been a paramedic for 18 years, and this call truly broke his heart. “Some calls are more stressful than others,” Tim shared, adding that this one “hit the three big ones. Anytime a child is involved, anytime it’s a friend and anytime it’s a coworker.” Shelby and Tim were in the ambulance for 20 minutes from Lisbon to Enderlin... but the ride felt like an eternity. “I walk in the door and she says, ‘That’s my house. That’s my son. I have to go,’” Tim recalled. “I was hoping that everything would be ok. I was hoping that Royce would be ok. I was hoping that Shelby would be calm enough, it’s her child. She spends her free time volunteering as a first responder in Enderlin and Lisbon... Now, this family needs help.”
Baby Royce had to be taken to a Minnesota hospital where he was discovered to have third-degree burns over more than 30 percent of his body. Currently, he is also on a feeding tube. Shelby’s husband had been staying at home taking care of their two other kids while she worked. The family is now together with her and Royce in Minnesota. The cause of the fire has not yet been identified, reports PEOPLE.
For those who would like to support this family in need, a GoFundMe page has been set up for the baby's medical expenses. The little boy is described as "inquisitive, energetic and a bundle of energy." He also "loves Paw Patrol and is enamored with his sisters. This two-year-old boy has the brightest pale blue eyes that melt your heart." Royce will likely have to spend around eight to 12 weeks in the hospital for his injuries, according to the page. He will also have to have multiple surgeries in the coming days where he will have to undergo skin grafts on one, if not both, of his arms and hands. The little boy has been through so much. He's currently being given treatment but it looks like the road to recovery will be a long one ahead.
The page also pointed out that "any amount is appreciated. This money is being used for a real-life local family to care for an innocent child who has undergone a horrific injury. Let's show this little boy that he has all of us pulling for him. Any non-financial contributions, i.e. clothing, toys, household needs, can be dropped off at the First Medic Ambulance garage at 1100 Oak St. in Lisbon, ND." The family also shared that they are searching for a new location for their family to call “home” once Royce is able to be discharged in a recent update. The cost to repair damages from the house fire far outweighs the value of the home so they are looking for a new place to move into. The current home triggers the effects of the traumatic incident and the family is hoping to start afresh and hopefully move forward from this terrifying tragedy.
Cover image source: GoFundMe