Katy teen who underwent 14 surgeries after burn accident looks to inspire others

GALVESTON, Texas (KTRK) -- In some ways, Tyler Credeur is like most teens. He loves sports like track, archery, baseball, football.

But unlike teens his age, he's now tossing the ball around with his physical therapist at Shriners Hospital in Galveston.

The stakes of this game are higher. Tyler is playing for survival.

"It's really hard. It's like learning to walk again. Well, I mean I also, I had to do that, but it's like, it's really really hard to do because you have to re-learn everything," Tyler Credeur said.

We first told you about Tyler last Thanksgiving.

"It turns out that it was, you know, it was a mistake. He thought he was pouring diesel to rekindle the fire, the bonfire, and it was gasoline because they were in the same color cans," said Tyler's mom Rachel Jones.

"I didn't even like pour it, pour it, I just put a little bit on the fire and it went up the stream. Instead the gas can exploded," said Tyler.

At just 14, Tyler was resuscitated twice, transported from two hospitals before finally making it to Shriners' ICU for three and a half months, fighting through 14 surgeries.

"Well, when Tyler first came to us, he had a pretty large burn and was pretty critical at the time. And so we knew that he would probably have a pretty long road as far as recovery, but he had a great attitude," said Gene McGowen, a registered nurse at Shriners Hospital for Children.

Instead of returning to 8th grade, the burn center became home with staff now family.

Facing a journey unimaginable for most, Tyler's spirit has proven relentless.

"Certain people kind of stick with you and have that personality and that ability, and Tyler's definitely one that you won't easily forget," said Christopher Whitehead, a physical therapist at Shriners Hospital for Children.

"I get these things called shocks, and they go, they run all the way up here and sometimes in my feet," explained Tyler. "I also have neuropathy and I'm on a lot of medicine, which isn't healthy at all."

Hours of painful physical therapy and the financial toll has taken a lot on their family.

"We've received a lot of help, but it's a long process. It's a long journey. I have no idea when I'll be going back to work," said Jones.

It is a journey to recovery that will likely last his lifetime, but Tyler and his mom are both on a mission to help others.

"I'd like to be there to talk to other parents and even children. You don't know what to expect when it happens. If it happens, God forbid," said Jones.

Tyler is now a patient ambassador and one day dreams of working with burn survivors.

His personal journey isn't over, but Tyler is ready for the challenge.

After all, the strongest steel is forged in the hottest fire.

To follow Tyler's journey, you can follow his Facebook page #Tylerstrong or visit his Gofundme.

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