Firefighters in Val-des-Monts, Que. are raising money to help cover medical bills for a young boy badly burned in an accident last spring.
In April, Francis Langevin, 12, and a group of friends were experimenting with rubbing alcohol and lighters when the alcohol bottle exploded.
He spent seven months recovering in a Montreal hospital, and has recently returned home to the Outaouais.
However, Langevin's road to recovery isn't over. He still requires therapy, including therapeutic massages three times a day and several medications.
His mother, Céline Tessier, said the family has been receiving help from the Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux (CISSS), but the situation gets more expensive the longer her son needs help.
"They provided me with help to provide therapeutic massages for my son, which is necessary in the healing process for major burns," she told Radio-Canada in French.
"After that, I had to find people to replace the [services] they gave me," she said.
The CISSS will only subsidize Langevin's care up to $12 an hour, Tessier said, which isn't enough to cover a massage therapist's hourly rate of around $60.
She said it's been stressful having to cover many of the costs herself, adding if her son's care is interrupted, his health could deteriorate and his skin could swell again.
Boy is a warrior, firefighter says
After hearing of Langevin's journey to recovery, the Val-des-Monts firefighters association — the first responders who rescued the boy in the spring — decided to launch a fundraising campaign.
"The fundraiser is for everyone who wants to give to the boy's treatment and also to his family. There are a lot of costs involved," said François Pelletier, one of the firefighters. "Among other things, I think of his mother who has not worked since these events."
Pelletier indicated the money is being collected via a crowdfunding page set up by the family.
"It's all warrior [with] this little guy. He stopped breathing three times as a result of his burns at the beginning of his hospitalization. He went through several trials. I think it's just normal that we try to do something for him," he said.
More information about the fundraiser and Langevin's injuries is available on the firefighters association's Facebook page.