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Walking into his first grade classroom at Tulare Christian School is a milestone for 6-year old Chase Bourez, who some are calling a modern-day miracle.
Last spring, Chase was in a deadly car crash and rushed to the only burn and Level 1 trauma center in the Central Valley, housed then at the former University Medical Center and moved shortly afterward to Community Regional Medical Center in downtown Fresno.
“When the accident first happened, they were flying him in to be an organ donor,” said Chase’s mother Summer Bourez.
Chase had been ejected from the vehicle and had head trauma and a broken ankle from the car crash that took the life of his aunt. He endured multiple surgeries on his head and jaw.
Chase was in a medically induced coma more than a week, but with his family never leaving his side, came out of his coma and began to make progress.
“First he couldn’t support his body at all. He would get up on all fours and just fall down,” said Chase’s father Darian Bourez.
Summer said although physical therapy was exhausting for Chase, he actually enjoyed going. He has now advanced the point where he can continue his rehabilitation with the help of his mother at home.
Chase doesn’t remember much about the accident or the talented doctors, nurses and staff at Community Regional Medical Center who helped him — but his family does.
“We tell Chase stories about his nurses and the first nurse that got Chase to chuckle was worth everything in the world,” Summer said. “I think the staff in the burn unit are just like one big family and when this happens to you and your family, you become a member of theirs.”
Today, a healthy Chase enjoys school, riding his bike, swimming and beating his mother at Checkers.
Darian said, “You go through life thinking you need all this stuff and it’s not important. Family is what’s important.”
“And their health,” Summer added.
This story was reported by Toni LaSalle. She can be reached at MedWatchToday@communitymedical.org.