Friday, July 25, 2008
Where the help for Tyler is coming from
BOISE -- The Pickering family of Caldwell nearly lost all three of their sons when the boys' grandfather collided with another plane as both pilots tried landing in McCall.
As they deal with unreal grief -- they are faced with very real medical expenses.
But today, they got unexpectedly good news.
Three-year-old Tyler Pickering was the only one to make it out of his grandfather's plane alive.
When you see the aftermath of the May 3rd crash, it's amazing anyone survived.
Tyler was pulled from the burning wreckage by the pilot of the other plane involved in the collision.
His body badly burned -- he was rushed to Salt Lake City for urgent care.
Three months later, he's doing remarkably well, but still needs out-of-state treatment and daily physical therapy.
While his progress is promising, his medical bills are overwhelming -- $1.2 million to date.
The Pickerings are insured, but because the Utah hospital was out of network, they're responsible for 60 percent of that bill.
Hearing of the family's fate, the Shriners intercepted.
Today, Tyler was accepted into the Shriners Hospital for Children in Sacramento, Calif., where he will receive free medical care for his burns until he's an adult.
From a family who's already cried so much -- this time, it's tears of joy.
"They called and offered Tyler all his medical care for free until the age of 21," said Chris Pickering.
"It's pretty good," said Jennifer Pickering.
"That's really good," said Chris Pickering.
“I've had tears in my eyes. They will find out that the arms of the Shriners are wrapped around them and they will be taking care of Tyler and do whatever is best for him," said Bert Miller,
While Tyler has vastly improved since we last saw him in the hospital, he does bare visible and emotional scars.
His parents say he has nightmares and he will sit at home pretending to play with his brothers.
He’s also developed a little stutter -- all signs of the tremendous trauma of a plane crash that claimed the lives of his siblings and his grandfather.
The Pickerings have another difficult day ahead of them.
On Monday, their eldest son, William, would have turned seven years old.
The Pickerings say they'll go to McCall and visit his grave site to commemorate that day.