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Broadheath fire survivor is focusing on the future
2:17pm Friday 1st June 2012 in News
MORE than £6,000 has been raised in a police appeal for two siblings who lost their mother and brother in a tragic fire last year.
19-year-old Cailin van Straaten and her four-year-old brother, Zach Jones, were the only survivors of the fire in their Broadheath home in September.
Since then they have been swamped with kind donations and support.
The appeal, launched by Trafford Police before Christmas, has seen people from across the borough donate money, clothing and toys for the siblings.
Cailin said she was surprised at the number of people who had pulled together to help her and Zach and thanked them for their support and contributions. She said: “They have been absolutely amazing and their contributions have helped so much.”
Having suffered 60 per cent burns in the blaze, Cailin still visits hospital on a fortnightly basis for check-ups and says the staff at Wythenshawe Hospital have been amazing.
With plans to study Art and Design at college in September, the brave teenager says her injuries have not stopped her from getting on with life, with her sights now firmly set on the future. Cailin said: “I want to be an interior designer – that’s my new goal.”
Cailin says her faith has helped an awful lot with her recovery and described the friends she has made at King’s Way Church as being “like family”.
Now living in Sale with close family friend Linda Broadheath, Cailin doesn’t get to see her brother Zach, who lives in Oldham with his father, as often as she would like. She said: “If it wasn’t for Zach I don’t think I would have got through it. The times I do see him make me really happy.”
The siblings are now looking forward to visiting Disneyland Paris in July with Zach’s father, Ric Jones. The holiday, organised and funded by the Child Victims of Crime charity, will mean Cailin will get to spend precious time with her brother.
Despite the tragedy faced by the family, both Cailin and Zach are staying positive. Cailin said: “I want to make the most of everything and to cherish the good memories and the people who have loved me and cared for me.”
An inquest into the fire will be held later in the year.