Family of Nelson House girl burned in shed fire starts online fundraiser
Bryanna Linklater, 6, has undergone 6 surgeries so far to treat serious burns
A Nelson House, Man., family has turned to the internet for help, setting up an online fundraiser to help cover rent while their six-year-old daughter is in a Winnipeg hospital, recovering from second- and third-degree burns.
"It's a hard thing for me especially," said Bryant Linklater. "I like to work for things, so it was hard to ask for help. We need it now more than ever."
Linklater said his daughter was burned in the face, chest, stomach, thighs and arms. She is currently recovering at Children's Hospital.
"Her arms and hands are more injured than other parts of her body because she was pushing on the shack, trying to get out," said her father. "The fire was right under her arms."
Linklater said Bryanna has undergone six surgeries to treat her burns, and doctors have said she will need more surgery until she is a teenager.
Moved into rental home
Linklater and his wife, Tawny, stayed in a hotel with their one-year-old son for the first month and a half. Their three other children stayed with family in Nelson House.
"I'm not able to work yet; we need all the help we can get," said Linklater. "We have this nice house we stay in, but the rent is $1,600 a month plus utilities, plus we need food."
The 29-year-old father had to quit his job in Nelson House when his daughter was hurt. He's been spending every night sleeping in her hospital room.
"It's tough seeing your little girl going through more stuff than you have yourself," he said.
The family said they will use the money raised to pay for rent. Linklater said he will start working as soon as Bryanna is out of the hospital.
He added that many people from Nelson House have already donated money and household items to help them start their life as a family in Winnipeg.
"Very overwhelming, very happy for it," he said. "Me and my wife are very thankful for all of the support we are getting."
Road to recovery
Linklater said his daughter saved her younger brother from the shed fire. Five-year-old Kobe suffered no burns. The father said his daughter got her brother out first and sent him for help. She remained trapped with her two friends.
Linklater said his daughter is still the happy little girl she was before the fire, but still has rough days.
"A lot of times she cries because of the pain on her hands, her chest mostly," said Linklater.
Bryanna has to wear a plastic mask four hours a day to smooth out the skin graft on her face. Her parents bought masks to wear too to make their daughter more comfortable.
"I do everything I can to make my daughter happy," said Linklater. "She wants me to be silly, I be silly. She wants to watch cartoons, we watch cartoons, One Direction videos, anything."
"When they came out she just lit up, she was so happy," said Linklater. "She just stood up out of the blue on her own strength. She wanted to walk around and get popsicles and popcorn with me. It was an awesome day."