Tragedy struck the community this holiday weekend when Apopka Fire Department Firefighter/EMT Austin Duran was seriously injured, but now there is a way to help the family.
Sierra Duran, Austin's sister, started a GoFundMe page
last night to raise money for the financial burden and medical expenses he and his family will experience.
Duran is 24 years old and has served with the AFD for 2-3 years. He suffered multiple broken bones, and injuries on Thursday when a sand trailer weighing approximately 4,500 pounds fell on him while he and another firefighter attempted to attach it to a hitch on a squad truck and transport it from Fire Station #1 to Fire Station #5. After several EMTs freed Duran from under the trailer using the jaws of life, he was rushed to ORMC where he was listed in serious but stable condition.
Friday morning was the beginning of a series of surgeries for Duran, and according to Alex Klepper, the news is outstanding.
"Last night his spinal surgery was completed with no finding of nerve damage or compression," Klepper, the Apopka Professional Firefighter's Association President, told The Apopka Voice. "He has full motor function and sensation, which is incredible. Surgeons were also able to manage three other orthopedic surgeries on his arm and legs as well. All the check-ups on his surgeries this morning have looked great and he can sit up some more. The next focus is seeing when he can be taken off of the ventilator. Altogether a totally unbelievable recovery so far from where we were two days ago."
On the GoFundMe page, Sierra writes:
"I am sharing on behalf of my brother, Austin Duran, a firefighter with the Apopka Fire Department. While trying to move heavy equipment on June 30th Austin was severely injured when a sand bucket container tipped and crushed him at the Fire Station. He suffered traumatic injuries to his spine, including a shattered L1 vertebra, 6 fractured ribs, a punctured lung, a compound fracture of his leg, and a fractured humerus in his arm. Austin underwent surgery on July 1 to put pins and screws to stabilize his spine, a rod in his leg, and a plate in his shoulder. He is currently on a ventilator in stable but in critical condition in the Intensive Care Unit. While he is not out of the woods yet, we are hopeful for a full recovery!
Austin has a very long and painful road ahead of him and will need a lot of rehab and intensive therapy. He will likely require equipment such as a mobility scooter, ramps, and adjustments that will need to be made at his house. We sincerely appreciate the outpouring of messages and support from the community and his Fire Department Family. We are starting this GoFundMe page to help raise money to help with this financial burden. If you can find it in your heart, any donation will be greatly appreciated. #AustinsArmy"
To donate to AFD Firefighter/EMT Austin Duran, go here.