WINNIPEG – One year after being badly burned in an explosion that levelled a townhome, a Winnipeg man and his family are thanking Manitobans for their support and generosity.
Corey Schroeder was doing renovations in his basement using a chemical solvent when the fumes ignited and exploded.
Schroeder says the entire house became an inferno, and he sustained second and third-degree burns on much of his body and his face.
One thing that worked in his favour is that he’s a paramedic, and he was able to give instructions to neighbours who ran to help him.
He would spend the next six weeks in the burn unit at Health Sciences Centre.
He says various fundraisers brought in about $30,000 to help his family – including his partner Dana Johnson, their young daughter and newborn son – through the last year.
“The words thank you? It doesn’t seem like enough to me,” says Johnson. “Thank you to everybody, and everything you did, and the support and generosity.”
Johnson’s colleagues at a hair salon raised money, and firefighters and police donated proceeds from their annual Guns versus Hoses hockey game.
Schroeder returned to work in July and the family has moved back in to their rebuilt home.
“The healing process and my recovery, and the rest of the family, it’s unbelievable,” says Schroeder. “Nobody can believe how well it’s come out for us.”
Now that he’s returned to work, he says the traumatic experience he survived allows him to have even greater empathy for the people he works with as a paramedic.