COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (CNN Newsource) – An Iowa toddler is fighting for his life after he was trapped in a fire Friday. His grandfather says it was divine intervention that saved him.
Ezekiel Askins is just 17-months-old and came into this world a fighter.
“He started out, he was low premature because he had a like a 300 heart rate,” Dave Smith, Ezekiel’s grandfather said. “They did an emergency C-section, so he kind of come into this world with a little excitement.”
Ezekiel overcame that, and his family is certain he’ll do it again now.
“He’s a pretty strong lab,” Smith said.
The grandfather says the toddler was trapped in a fire in his home Friday night. Firefighters rescued him and his 3-year-old brother, James, from the flames. James was treated for smoke inhalation and light burns, but little Ezekiel has burns covering 60% of his body.
“So he’s got some deep burns across his buttocks, his back and back of his legs,” Smith said.
Smith says the child also has a lot of lung damage. He was flown to the St. Elizabeth Burn Center Friday night.
“He made it through the night, which was a miracle in itself,” Smith said. “We’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.”
Saturday morning, Ezekiel was flown to the University of Iowa’s children’s hospital. There, they have a machine that can take the carbon dioxide from his blood. Ezekiel hasn’t needed it yet, and he’s taking a few breaths on his own, but the biggest concern now is trying to get blood flow in his legs.
“As with anything, we rely on God,” Smith said. “Intercede for us. He is.”
Smith says it was divine intervention that saved his grandsons Friday night.
In a social media post, the fire department’s chief, Justin James, said the performance is what his team trains for.
“Last night, you were as goof as it gets. You gave a second chance to the victims with seconds to spare,” James wrote in part.
Smith says the first responders performed magnificently, and he has put his trust in faith that his grandson will recover.
“He is a young man that has a lot of determination even for a young child,” Smith said. “You can see it in his eyes. You can feel it when you’re around him. I think it will become evident.”
The family has a GoFundMe set up to cover the cost of medical bills.