TALLAPOOSA, Ga. — A woman who spent 51 days in an intensive care burn unit with burns covering 40 percent of her body and was then abandoned by her husband is getting an amazing gift from her community.
Courtney Waldon was badly burned on Sept. 30, 2016, when her husband poured gasoline on a campfire that had gone out. Then, two weeks after she was released from the hospital, her husband said he "just couldn't handle it" and abandoned Waldon and her 4-year-old daughter.
Waldon has had several surgeries, and doctors estimate she needs at least a dozen more. Her medical bills are over $2 million, yet she has no income and may never be able to work again, so she had to give up her home.
She is also having laser surgery monthly. The surgery costs $11,000 each time.
Her parents said they thought she would never again own a home of her own, but once Jon Ellis, pastor of The Refuge Ministries of West Georgia, heard about Waldon, he and others in the community started to build the young mother a house.
The house is two stories and being built on the family’s land with donated funds. The volunteers have completed construction on the exterior and some of the interior framing.
A GoFundMe page for Waldon has raised more than $218,000.
“I would like to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for your prayers and your donations,” Waldon posted on the page four months ago. “I am truly humbled by everyone’s generosity!”
She has tattoo on her arm that reads, “I survived because the fire inside of me burned brighter than the fire around me.”