Risingsun resident recovering from burns
Written by TARA KELLER Sentinel Staff Writer
Tuesday, 11 February 2014 11:03
Tim Dean is the type of guy who plows his neighbors' driveways for nothing in return and would give his last $5 to a stranger in need.
|Tim Dean (Photo provided)
His wife, Tammy Dean, is hoping he'll be able to help out others again one day.
"He's an all-around good guy," she said. "He puts everyone else first."
For right now, Tammy Dean is putting her husband first.
Tim Dean, 48, of Risingsun, was severely burned in a cabin Jan. 8 near Ironton. He is recovering at the burn unit of St. Vincent's Hospital in Toledo with burns over 60 percent of his body.
The brick mason was on a hunting trip with some family members when he awoke in the middle of the night.
Although the family is still unsure how the fire started, Tammy Dean thinks her husband woke up to use the restroom and stood next to the heater to warm back up when his clothes caught flame.
"He went into the bedroom and yelled for his brother, Roger," she said. "Roger tried to put him out."
After burning his own hands, Roger Dean saved his brother with the help of other family members.
"Roger is a hero. I think they both saved each other," she said. "After Tim woke him up, Roger saw that his own bed was engulfed in flames. I'd hate to speculate on what could've happened if Tim hadn't woken up."
Tim Dean was then transported to the cabin's nearest burn unit - Cabell Hospital in Huntington, W. Va.
"I was told he was very calm," she said. "He told everyone to tell me that he loved me."
Because several parts of Ohio were under a Level 3 snow emergency, the drive to Cabell Hospital from Risingsun took Tammy Dean 12 hours.
The doctors told her there was a high chance he wouldn't make it.
She didn't let that news keep her from taking care of her husband of almost 29 years.
"I tried to think of two positives for every negative," she said. "I'm trying to stay optimistic."
While the West Virginia doctors told her it would be months until Tim Dean could be transported, he was moved to Toledo in just a couple weeks.
"It's day-by-day," she said. "It's a slow process."
Tim Dean underwent seven skin-graft surgeries so far and remains heavily sedated.
He's looking at at least five more surgeries and more time in intensive care before he can be moved to a rehabilitation center.
"It still feels like a bad dream," she said. "It's a struggle for everybody."
Patty Ritter, Tim Dean's sister, is looking to help out with that struggle.
Along with other community members, Ritter is organizing a benefit for Tim Dean this Saturday from 5 to 9 p.m. at Stacy's Place in Fostoria.
"We've received tons of support," Ritter said. "It's a big group effort."
The benefit includes a spaghetti dinner, music and 50/50 raffle for a gun and concert tickets for the Christian rock bands Skillet and Third Day.
Donations are accepted at the door.
Although he still can't say much, there is one thing Tim Dean does for his wife every time she visits to help her get through it.
"He's always smiling," she said.
For more information on Tim Dean's condition, please visit the Facebook page "Tim Dean Update."
The family is also receiving donations at any Huntington Bank under the name "Tim Dean benefit."