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Chad Watson Surprises Doctors by Breathing Without Ventilator Since Depoy Fire

Watson -Kylie Chad 300Kylie and Chad Watson recover in Vanderbilt Hospital Burn Unit. (Photo courtesy of Adam Brown)NASHVILLE, Tenn. (2/7/14) – When Chad Watson first entered the Vanderbilt Hospital Burn Unit, doctors were highly concerned with permanent damage to his lungs.

Watson, who lost his wife, and eight of the couple's nine children, suffered severe burns to his hands and lungs during his attempts to save his family.

Adam Brown, Watson's cousin, told SurfKY News today, which is Chad Watson's 37th birthday, that Watson, shocked and surprised his family and Vanderbilt doctors yesterday.

"Chad likes to do things on his terms," Brown said. "He is pretty stubborn. He decided yesterday that it was time for his ventilator to come out. The doctors went ahead and took it out. They were quite concerned that it was way too soon. But everything went fine. He was up all day, talking to everyone. But then, of course, grief would hit him in huge waves," Brown said.

Even by the doctors' estimates, Watson exceeded their expectations.

"His face is healing very well. His hands are still in bad shape and are going to need skin grafting. But overall he is doing very well."

Brown said that Kylie, Watson's one surviving child from the fire, is also doing better than doctors had earlier expected.

"Kylie is also still doing well without her ventilator. Of course, for both of them, their emotions are all over the place. She misses her mother, and her brothers and sisters. She was very happy that her father is now awake and doing better. Both are content to know that the other is doing well," Brown said.   

Brown, who is the pastor of Temple Baptist Church in Central City, said he was also moved by one thing that Chad did yesterday.

"There is another family with a burn victim in critical condition on the same floor Chad is on," Brown said. "We have spent a great deal of time with them in the waiting room over the past week. Yesterday, Chad was introduced to a member of the family and was told about the severe condition of the family member. Chad asked if he could pray with them for their relative, and so they did.  Chad led them in prayer. That is so like Chad. But then 10 minutes later he was weeping from the scenes still fresh in his own mind from last week," Brown said.

Brown and other Watson family members must now try to prepare emotionally for the funeral of the nine victims of last week's fire.

"We just want to be there to honor the lives of Chad's wife, LaRae, and those eight beautiful children who have gone together to be with God," said Brown.

Funeral services will be held at the Felix Martin Hall, beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8.

Burial will be in Oak Grove Cemetery in Depoy.

To donate to the Watson Family Fund contact any of the banks listed below:

The Calvary Baptist Church Watson Family Fund
Old National Bank
P.O. Box 549
Central City, Ky. 42330

The Calvary Baptist Church Watson Family Fund
Commonwealth Community Bank
340 Airport Road
Greenville, Ky. 42345

The Calvary Baptist Church Watson Family Fund
First Kentucky Bank
P/O. Box 110
Central City, Ky. 42330

First National Bank Watson Family Fund
P.O Box 389,
139 W. Broad St.
Central City, Ky. 42330

Paul McRee
SurfKY News Reporter

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