It's been almost four days since Apopka Fire Department Firefighter/EMT Austin Duran suffered a traumatic injury, but on Sunday, good news arrived on two fronts.
First, Sierra Duran, Austin's sister, announced the first series of surgeries were successful on the GoFundMe page she set up to raise funds for Austin and the Duran family.
"Austin is doing good and progressing well," she said. "Although the previous surgeries were successful, doctors have determined that a fourth surgery is necessary. He is scheduled tomorrow for surgery on his ribs. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers and continue to donate and share. My family and I are so grateful for all the support and love we are receiving."
The second piece of positive news is that the GoFundMe page is off to a great start.
As of 9 pm on Sunday, the page reached $40,438 with over over 461 individuals, businesses, and organizations contributing.
Duran is 24 years old and served with the AFD as a Firefighter/EMT. He suffered multiple broken bones, and injuries on Thursday when a sand trailer weighing approximately 4,500 pounds fell on him while he and another firefighter attempted to attach it to a hitch on a squad truck and transport it from Fire Station #1 to Fire Station #5. After several EMTs freed Duran from under the trailer using the jaws of life, he was rushed to ORMC where he was listed in serious but stable condition.
On the GoFundMe page, Sierra writes:
"I am sharing on behalf of my brother, Austin Duran, a firefighter with the Apopka Fire Department. While trying to move heavy equipment on June 30th Austin was severely injured when a sand bucket container tipped and crushed him at the Fire Station. He suffered traumatic injuries to his spine, including a shattered L1 vertebra, 6 fractured ribs, a punctured lung, a compound fracture of his leg, and a fractured humerus in his arm. Austin underwent surgery on July 1 to put pins and screws to stabilize his spine, a rod in his leg, and a plate in his shoulder. He is currently on a ventilator in stable but in critical condition in the Intensive Care Unit. While he is not out of the woods yet, we are hopeful for a full recovery!
Austin has a very long and painful road ahead of him and will need a lot of rehab and intensive therapy. He will likely require equipment such as a mobility scooter, ramps, and adjustments that will need to be made at his house. We sincerely appreciate the outpouring of messages and support from the community and his Fire Department Family. We are starting this GoFundMe page to help raise money to help with this financial burden. If you can find it in your heart, any donation will be greatly appreciated. #AustinsArmy"
To donate to AFD Firefighter/EMT Austin Duran, go here.