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Fire victim moves forward with recovery

Wednesday, August 06, 2014 - Updated: 9:59 AM


C-S-E Editor

FORT PLAIN -- Dennis Abare, Jr., the boy who was burned on over 40 percent of his body during last Wednesday's 63 Center St. blaze, is doing relatively well, despite the fact that he's received numerous surgeries and skin grafts since being injured.

Kalley Lee, Dennis Abare Jr.'s neighbor and friend of the family, has been keeping up to date on his status, speaking with the boy's mother and father every day. Since the fire, Abare's mother, Lisa, has been at the hospital constantly with her son, while his father, Dennis Abare, Sr., is starting to use his hands again after they were burned during his son's extraction from the blaze.

Lee has been keeping Abare's supporters up to date via a Facebook page titled Keep Praying for Dennis Abare Jr. of Fort Plain.

Lee said Abare, Jr. is burned from the chest down, with second degree burns to his chest and torso, and third degree burns on his buttocks, groin and legs.

On Aug. 3, at 11:04 a.m., Lee stated, "the feeding tube is out he can start some food by mouth today. They will start him with small amounts of soft food. He will need high calorie, high protein to promote healing."

The same day, she commented, "Little Dennis is drinking a ton and talking up a storm. He is on and off oxygen. He is in bed, has a Foley Catheter, central line for medication and IV fluids, he is starting to take fluids by mouth."

Abare will receive a second skin-graft treatment on Thursday. If that surgery goes well, he'll be transferred from the ICU into a regular children's unit after he's stable.

The road to recovery for Abare may be a long one, Lee noted, as the doctors are currently "not sure if he'll walk again," though she said a positive fact is that essential respiratory organs and passages, including his airway, were not burned in the fire.

"He's a little boy who is really resilient," Lee said about Abare, noting that he's a tough, bike-riding little guy who she's sure will make the best of his situation. She said, "even if he's in a wheelchair, it'll be an extension of who he is."

Though Lee said he's "lonely, and of course wants to get out and enjoy his summer," cards and letters have been uplifting. Abare is currently fascinated by all things Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which are helping him through this rough time.

At home in Fort Plain, Dennis Abare, Sr. is focused on fixing up the family's Center St. home -- which includes building handicapped ramps -- for his son's return, which, according to Lee, might still be a significant amount of time down the road, as he may be required to remain in the hospital for a month and a half. Following his release, he may be moved from the hospital directly to a rehabilitation facility.


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