Van fire victim approaching major milestone - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Van fire victim approaching major milestone

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Kaj Shrode is a little over a month away from his first birthday, and when August 9th hits, he and his family will have plenty to celebrate. Kaj Shrode is a little over a month away from his first birthday, and when August 9th hits, he and his family will have plenty to celebrate.

In March, seven-month-old Kaj Shrode received severe burns in a vehicle fire. Since then, there's been an outpouring of support for the little boy and his family.

Kaj turns one in just over a month.

He's made huge strides since that fire on March 20th, and even though his life, and his family's, have been drastically changed, he's still doing remarkably well.

By now, many in the Tri-State know his name well, thanks in part to the Facebook page, Krazy for Kaj.

Close to four thousand people now keep tabs on Amanda's little guy.

On August 9th, 2011... After a long labor, Amanda Shrode welcomed her youngest child.

A boy. with a name as unique as he is.

"I wanted his name to be Jack, and my husband just kind of joked that he didn't like the name Jack, so he started saying it backwards he said Kaj, Kaj, Kaj," Amanda recalls.

Back then, Amanda had no idea her happy, smiling little boy would soon become a super hero.

Today, Kaj is almost 11 months old, and he's rarely without his batman suit.

Only this isn't dress up.

"It's a Batman because his grafts look like the Batman masks because they're on his cheeks. So, it looks like batman when we take his mask off," Amanda said.

But that doesn't happen very often.

Kaj wears pressure garments, all day, every day, except for bath time.

It's part of his recovery process since suffering first, second and third degree burns to 30% of his tiny body.

In March, Kaj and his big brother Jay were in the family van. Dad ran inside for a few moments to use the restroom.

And in that short time, Jay found a lighter.

The car caught fire.

"I couldn't even cry, I was just so out of it, I couldn't even cry. I just screamed." Amanda said.

At Deaconess, Amanda managed just a glimpse of her son before he was flown to Shriner's Hospital in Cincinnati. He stayed there over a month.

Three and a half months after the accident, Kaj is doing well.

His life, and Amanda's, are now mapped out by the hour.

Full of baths, physical therapy and massages to help Kaj's new skin. It's exhausting work, but mom doesn't mind.

It's work she's able to do, she says, because of all the help she and her family have received since the accident.

"What I want to say is "Thank you' and that does not even begin to cover it. I have a love for Evansville that I have never had before, and would not be here without everything that they're doing," Amanda told 14 News. "To have so many people there at a time when we don't know which way is up is something we didn't expect and something that we will be forever grateful for."

Grateful for the help and love of strangers, who are Krazy for Kaj, and grateful for the fight in her mini caped crusader.

If you'd like to help contribute to the Shrode family, there's another chance for you to do so.

If you go to the Krazy for Kaj Facebook page, you can download a coupon. If you take it Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt on Burkhardt next Wednesday and make a purchase, a dollar will go to the Shrodes.

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