The Lancefield and Romsey communities have thrown their support behind a local family, raising tens of thousands of dollars after two young boys received severe burns in a terrifying accident earlier this month.
Three-year-old Xander and 22-month-old Tanner were standing near a bonfire on their family’s Lancefield property when a cardboard box, which none of the family realised contained an aerosol can, was placed on the fire.
The can set off an explosion, leaving the boys with burns to their upper bodies.
The brothers were airlifted to the Royal Children’s Hospital, where Xander was put on a ventilator in the intensive care unit and Tanner was admitted to a high-intensity ward.
As of Saturday, Xander was in a stable condition and awaiting a transfer out of intensive care, while Tanner was able to return home temporarily.
Both have undergone multiple surgeries and will require extensive skin grafts to their faces and hands, as well as long-term mental and physical rehabilitation.
The brothers’ aunt Carli Mathiesen created a fundraising page on the GoFundMe website, with a goal of raising $20,000 to support their medical expenses.
As of yesterday afternoon the page had received more than $30,000 in donations, only four days after it went live.
On the page Ms Mathiesen wrote the boys were ‘part of a beautiful country community who have rallied to support their people’.
“Your donation is an opportunity to show your support in a helpful and [realistic] way,” she said.
“Your contribution will directly impact the quality of life the boys experience over the coming years and give their parents – my sister and brother-in-law – some breathing room to focus solely on their family’s recovery and rehabilitation.”
Romsey Mitre 10 also backed the family, organising the raffle of a STIHL MS 311 FarmBoss chainsaw, with all proceeds going to the brothers. In one week, the business raised a staggering $27,105.
In an update on the GoFundMe page on Saturday, Ms Mathiesen said the family was overwhelmed by the support it had received.
“We are happy to report as you all might have seen – we hit and have passed our $20,000 goal. We will leave our campaign running for the rest of the week while the dust settles,” she said.
“The family and the boys want me to pass on their absolute gratitude and thanks for the outpouring of love towards the parents and our boys.
“It’s been a really emotional week for all, but the kindness shown through your words and actions has made it easier.”
People wishing to donate to the GoFundMe page can visit gofundme.com/f/please-help-toddler-burn-victims-xander-tanner.
Alternatively, people can call Romsey Mitre 10 on 5429 5955 to organise a donation.