First responders, Whataburger host fundraiser for officer injured in flash fire

First responders, Whataburger host fundraiser for officer injured in flash fire
Photo of Chris Vannoy, taken on Aug. 20
Photo of Chris Vannoy, taken on Aug. 20

EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - It's been 25 days since Longview police officer and volunteer firefighter Chris Vannoy was in a terrible accident, a flash fire that burned over 50% of his body.

Chris Vannoy spent his 25th birthday in intensive care today.

"Today he is 25, and today is the 25th day we have been in here," Chris' fiancée Brittany McDonald says.

Brittany McDonald is a local nurse who has spent every day by her soon-to-be husband's bedside.

"He's able to bend his legs now, and he is able to use his right hand, not his left yet. But he is doing good, he's getting there," McDonald says.

The picture of Chris that is attached was taken the on August 20; the day he arrived at the burn unit after the accident.

It was a freak occurrence that left 2nd and 3rd-degree burns on 51 percent of Chris's body.

"He should be there a few more weeks and then they will send him to a burn rehab center," Vannoy's father-in-law, Gary McDonald says.

Doctors have taken skin from Chris' back and reattached it to spots on his body where he was severely burned.

This prompts the need for physical therapy.

"The skin on his fingers are very tight; he is unable to bend them very well, he cannot get them to move in the right direction, that he thinks he is moving them," McDonald says.

The second picture of Chris that is attached was taken today; a vast improvement in just one month's time.

"He's doing really well, he's really strong," McDonald says.

Because of Chris' extensive medical care, Vannoy's first-responder family has set up a fundraiser in order to help pay for the expenses.

"It's going to be Tuesday the 8th of September, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., and they are going to be donating 100% of the proceeds that they collect that night between 5 and 8 and donate it back to Chris," Arp Fire Captain David Gerald says.

The 'Oh Whata Night' fundraiser will be held at the Whataburger located in Henderson on Tuesday, September 18.

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