SMITH COUNTY - Christmas will come a little late this year for 4-year-old Zaylee Bradshaw and her brothers, after losing their home and presents in a fire on Christmas Eve.
Zaylee suffered burns in the fire. Her brothers, Jaxon, 3, and Mason, 16 months, only had minor injuries, thanks to quick actions by their father, Dustin, according to their aunt, Brittnie Bivens.
After Zaylee spent Christmas Day in the hospital with second-degree burns, the family decided to wait to open presents until she was able to unwrap her own.
Bivens said Batman will come by their grandparents’ house over New Year’s weekend to help the family celebrate. Parents Beka and Dustin are working hard to restore a sense of normalcy for the children.
“Zaylee’s not letting it stop her,” Bivens said. “She’s still the same little girl as before. She demands back rubs.”
In the week since the fire, Bivens and her friend, Jennyfer Keohane, have coordinated an effort to collect donations for the family. On Friday, they spent the afternoon sorting through dozens of bags of clothes and boxes of goods, looking for items that were the right size for each family member.
Bivens said the situation is difficult because the family may not know what they need until they move into a new residence.
Both parents are trying to return to work and to get the family into a place of their own as quickly as possible. For now, they are staying with Mrs. Bradshaw’s parents.
Once Zaylee is cleared to receive visitors, the family is planning a second Christmas with the firefighters who helped them.
Zaylee will be travelling to Parkland Hospital in Dallas every Tuesday for at least the next six weeks to receive treatments for her burns.
Donations for the family are being collected at IHOP in Lindale and Uptown Vapor locations in Tyler, 1841 Troup Highway in the Green Acres Shopping Center and 4000 S. Broadway Ave.
Donations also can be mailed to Brittnie Bivens, 14200 Seton St., Flint, TX 75762 or made online at gofundme.com/fire-victims-medicalhousehold-fund
Household items and furnishings
New shoes – 2T boys, 11 in girls, 24 months in babies, 6-7 in women’s and 10-11 in men’s
Winter Jackets – 3-4 toddler, 5 toddler, 24 months, women’s large and men’s 2XL
Size 5 diapers
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