‘All we can do right now is wait’: APD sergeant fights for life after severe burns


FORECAST.LITERALLY EVERY DAY IS SOMETHING DIFFERENT. IT’S EITHER AN IMPROVEMENT OR A STEP BACKSHANNONAPD RALLYING BEHIND ONE OF THEIR OWN- AFTER HE WAS BADLY BURNED…TONIGHT- WE’LL HEAR FROM HIS DAUGHTER- WORRIED – HER FATHER WON’T MAKE IT.SHANNONAN AUSTIN POLICE SERGEANT IS FIGHTING TO RECOVER FROM SERIOUS BURNS OVER MORE THAN A QUARTER OF HIS BODY.SGT. GARY CHRISTENBERRY WAS BURNING A BRUSH PILE AFTER HURRICANE HARVEY KNOCKED DOWN TREES IN HIS YARD..WHEN THE FIRE.. GOT OUT OF CONTROL.KXAN’S CHRIS DAVIS VISITED THE BURN UNIT IN SAN ANTONIO WHERE HIS FAMILY AND FELLOW OFFICERS HOPE AND PRAY.. FOR BETTER NEWS THAN THEY GOT TODAY.LT. DUANE PEED / AUSTIN POLICE DEPT.: “IT’S JUST, IT’S KIND OF HARD TO, HARD TO TAKE.”FAMILY CAN MEAN A LOT OF THINGS.LT. DUANE PEED / AUSTIN POLICE DEPT.: “THEY’RE SCARED. AND WE JUST WANT TO BE THERE FOR THEM.” CHELSEA ROBERTS / SGT. CHRISTENBERRY’S DAUGHTER: “THERE WERE POLICE OFFICERS WHO BEAT ME TO THE HOSPITAL THE FIRST DAY AND THERE WERE POLICE OFFICERS WHO BEAT ME THERE TODAY.”TODAY.. SGT GARY CHRISTENBERRY’S FAMILY IS IN THE BURN CENTER AT THE U.S. ARMY INSTITUTE OF SURGICAL RESEARCH.IT WAS A CALL CHELSEA ROBERTS NEVER WANTED TO GET. MORE THAN TWO WEEKS AFTER THE ACCIDENT LEFT CHRISTENBERRY WITH BURNS OVER 29 PERCENT OF HIS BODY.. HIS LUNGS FAILED.. AN INFECTION SET IN.HIS DAUGHTER SAYS.. HE’S A FIGHTER. CHELSEA ROBERTS / SGT. CHRISTENBERRY’S DAUGHTER: “BEING A POLICE OFFICER, I’VE KIND OF GROWN UP WITH THE KNOWLEDGE THAT MAYBE ONE DAY SOMEONE WOULD KNOCK AT MY DOOR AND TELL ME THAT HE WASN’T COMING HOME, BUT YOU DON’T EXPECT IT BURNING LEAVES IN HIS BACK YARD.”THAT’S MY DAD AT MY HUSBAND’S GRADUATION.IN TIMES LIKE THIS, ROBERTS CAN LEAN ON HER DAD’S EXTENDED FAMILY.LT. DUANE PEED / AUSTIN POLICE DEPT.: “HE MAY BE DOWN AND OUT RIGHT NOW, BUT YOU’VE GOT BACK UP. YOU’VE GOT US. WE’RE HERE.”AN APD OFFICER FOR MORE THAN 20 YEARS.. A DECADE IN THE MILITARY BEFORE THAT.. CHRISTENBERRY HAS A BIG FAMILY. LT. DUANE PEED / AUSTIN POLICE DEPT.: “LOT OF FRIENDS. EVERYBODY KNOWS GARY.”CHELSEA ROBERTS: “I’VE GOTTEN SO MANY HUGS TODAY, IT’S AWESOME.” THEY’VE BEEN COMING HERE SINCE DAY 1..IT’S DAY 16.THEY’RE STILL COMING.STILL WAITING. CHELSEA ROBERTS / SGT. CHRISTENBERRY’S DAUGHTER: “THAT’S ALL WE CAN DO RIGHT NOW IS WAIT AND SEE IF HE IMPROVES.”THAT’S JUST WHAT A FAMILY DOES.LT. DUANE PEED / AUSTIN POLICE DEPT.: “JUST, LOVE THE GUY. JUST PRAY THAT HE GETS BETTER.”CHRIS DAVIS KXAN NEWS.SHANNONA GO-FUND-ME PAGE HAS BEEN CREATED TO PAY FOR CHRISTENBERRY’S MEDICAL FUND. WE HAVE A LINK TO IT ON OUR WEBSITE AT KXAN-DOT-COM. SHANNON:BURN PATIENTS MIGHT SOON BE ABLE TO STAY AUSTIN TO BE TREATED.DELL SETON MEDICAL CENTER AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS JUST STARTED A BURN PROGRAM LAST MONTH.RIGHT NOW THEY CAN ONLY TREAT BURNS THAT COVER LESS THAN 30 PERCENT OF THE BODY.PATIENTS MUST ALSO BE 15 YEARS OR OLDER.DELL SETON PHYSICIANS CAN CARE FOR BURNS TO SPECIFIC AREAS OF THE BODY, INCLUDING THE FACE, HANDS, FEET AND JOINTS.DOCTORS TELL KXAN THEY HOPE TO EXPAND THE PROGRAM IN THE COMING YEARS, TO BECOME A BURN CENTER, LIKE THE ONES IN SAN ANTONIO OR

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