BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A Baltimore man hailed as a hero after rushing into a burning home to save his elderly neighbor is still fighting his own battle after doctors told his family he likely wouldn’t survive.
Two and a half months later, Pierre Gibbons is very much alive, even cracking jokes with doctors and nurses.
He has a message for his many supporters.
On September 23, the home on North Rose Street near Patterson Park caught fire with the woman who lived there trapped inside.
Gibbons, who lived across the street, rushed inside to save her. They both collapsed and had to be rescued by firefighters.
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“He made his way down to the basement and the fire had breached its way to the front door,” Gibbons’ son Jeremiah said.
Gibbons collapsed just feet from the front door as he tried to use his body to shield his neighbor.
“He wasn’t going to sit back and watch, he wasn’t going to spend the rest of his life thinking what he could have done,” Jeremiah Gibbons said.
He was rushed to the hospital, where doctors told his family the chances of him surviving were slim.
“She said ‘Your dad has a ten percent survival rate,'” Jeremiah said.
But tell that to the 57-year-old who has now had at least ten surgeries, organ failure, skin grafts and skin regrowth treatment and is still fighting.
“I want to thank you all, let you know how much I love you and I think about you every day,” Gibbons said in a video posted on Facebook. “I can’t wait to throw that big party together.”
For his daughter Taylor, that day can’t come soon enough.
“We tell him to keep fighting and we have got his back and I tell him I love him and that he’s going to be okay,” she said.
And he will be okay, but it might take years.
Even the doctors are calling him a miracle, but regardless of when he is released, he will need years of rehabilitation.
“He is a miracle,” said Dr. Mohammed Asif with the Johns Hopkins Bayview Burn Center. “I think a lot of people pray for him and he has a great social support.”
Gibbon’s family has set up a Facebook page for those wanting to follow along with his recovery and a GoFundMe page to raise money for his medical expenses. As of Thursday evening, that page had raised more than $44,000.