This is just so tragic. A young boy lost his life in the Mendocino County California wildfire, bringing the death toll to 31. His teenaged sister was also burned so badly she required a life-saving double amputation surgery — and she might not yet know that her brother is dead.
The Shepherd family’s lives are forever changed after being forced to flee their Mendocino County, CA home on Oct. 9 as the uncontrollable Redwood Valley fire raged through their rural town, according to local news outlets. Kai Shepherd, 14, was sadly burned alive, and his sister, Kressa Shepherd, 17, will never walk again after needing a double amputation. As of press time, the deadly Northern California fires have brought the death toll to 31 total.
Shortly after phoning their loved ones, the family of four left their mountain home in a car. But when it caught on fire, the two teens and their father, Jon Shepherd, and mother, Sara Shepherd, continued on foot amidst the deadly conditions. It might never be known what exactly happened between that phone call and when the family was found by neighbor Paul Hanssen. At that point, Kai was dead, and his sister and mother were badly burned. Jon Shepherd was not at the scene after making it further down the mountain, and instead was found by firefighters.
The women, who are at separate hospitals in Sacramento, currently cannot speak, and are heavily sedated with breathing tubes down their throats. They also sustained burns on 60% of their bodies, and as part of a life-saving surgery, Kressa had both legs amputated below the knee on Oct. 12 due to severe muscle damage. It is unclear as to whether the mother and daughter are aware of Kai’s death.
Jon had a minor heart attack and sustained burns across half of his body and has received surgery to remove them, but is reportedly stable. He is recovering at the Bothin Burn Center at San Francisco’s Saint Francis Memorial Hospital. See more photos of the California wildfires.
Our hearts go out to the friends and family of the California wildfire victims during this difficult time. You can help raise money for the Shepherd family’s medical bills and needs here, and stay updated on the family’s condition.
HollywoodLifers, feel free to leave your thoughts for the Shepherd family in the comments.