Family recovering after blast in N. Harris Co. home

January 6, 2012 4:11:16 AM PST
A man who nearly lost his entire family in an instant is in the hospital by their side as they recover. What happened at their north Harris County home is still under investigation, but the fact that everyone survived is because of two brave women.

There were six victims in the explosion -- two adults and four children. Five of them are in hospitals from Houston to Galveston and the most critical are a mother and son.

"We were just together on Christmas," said Giovanni Regalado, father of the three-year-old boy who was burned in the fire.

Just a few days later, two sisters and their four children's lives were changed forever.

"People were just living and then boom, you know, like what happened?" he said.

An explosion rocked the house on Sunshine Bay. Regalado's three-year-old son was among the family members inside.

"You never in a thousand years expect it's going to be you. Something tragic like this, it hurts," Regalado said.

Giovanni Izaiah's mother and aunt realized he wasn't out of the home, so Michelle and Melissa went back inside to pull him out. Twenty-eight-year-old Michelle Cardenas now has burns on 75 percent of her body.

"You can't help, you are just helpless. You want to help but you can't," Regalado said.

Thursday the boy had another surgery at Shriners Burn Hospital in Galveston.

"His last operation before this one, he had some of his own skin used to cover his wounds, so he'll go through that again," Dr. Jong Lee with Shriners Hospitals for Children said. "So pretty much once a week he'll go back to surgery and we'll try to cover his wounds using his own skin."

But this one included amputating many of his fingers and toes.

"He said, 'Dada I want to go home,' but I can't do nothing. He said, 'Pick me up and carry me,' but I can't do nothing," Regalado said. said.

It's a lot for this father, who lost his maintenance job a couple of weeks ago, to bear.

"We're going to get through this, praise the Lord, we're going to get through this," Regalado said.

But it's the way his own son is fighting that is helping him the most.

"He's inspiring me, he's inspiring me to keep on," Regalado said.

The family has set up a fund account to help with Giovanni Izaiah Regalado's medical costs with Wells Fargo Bank.