Family of Tyler explosion victim speaks, asks for prayers

Family of Tyler explosion victim speaks, asks for prayers

38-year-old Jose Juanchi Pineda remained in critical condition in intensive care at the burn unit of Parkland Hospital in Dallas Tuesday. Pineda was the only person inside a home on Tyler's south loop when that home exploded the morning of April 3rd.

His family has been making daily trips to take advantage of the thirty minute visits allowed on the intensive care ward. They say he has not been able to speak since the explosion, meaning no one has heard from him what happened.

"His girlfriend called us, said that there had been an accident and she wasn't sure it was him," Pineda's sister-in-law Vanessa Juanchi said. "We didn't even know if he was dead or alive or what was going on."

In Dallas, doctors found sixty percent of Pineda's body covered in burns.

"We were in shock," Juanchi said. "We couldn't even recognize him. His whole body, his face, everything was so swollen."

Juanchi said doctors have done skin grafts on Pineda's legs, but he's not well enough for more surgeries. The doctors don't have any answers when the family asks if Pineda is going to make it.

"His fever goes up and then he gets cold," Juanchi said. "We don't even know. It's just a day by day thing."

Despite everything that's happened, Juanchi said it could have been worse without the people who helped after Pineda came running from the house covered in flames. Now they're hoping to meet the men who may have saved Pineda's life.

"If they wouldn't have stopped and helped him we probably wouldn't have him here," Juanchi said. "So I believe it's a miracle that he's still here and I know he's going to keep on trying to live."

No matter how hard Pineda tries, his family wants more help.

"More prayer from people and everyone else because probably our prayers are not enough. He needs to have more prayer from everybody else so he can survive."

The Tyler Fire Marshal's office has not issued any updates since saying fumes from lacquer thinner were the suspected culprit in the explosion. They've never publicly identified the suspected ignition source.

A fun has been set up in the name of Jose Luis Juanchi Pineda at Bank of America in Tyler.


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