KETTERING, Ohio — Eighteen-year-old Abbey Alexander was riding a motorcycle home through the streets of Cambodia after a day of work last Wednesday.
She had moved from Miamisburg, Ohio in January with her brother, parents and fiance to teach kindergarten and pre-K.
Then, as she was riding home after work on Aug. 14, a nearby gas station exploded.
In an instant, her clothes caught fire, and 35% of Alexander’s body was scorched by flames.
“It was just being in the wrong place at the wrong time,” said Alexander’s grandmother Gayle Ingram, who lives in Kettering, Ohio.
She remembered receiving an early morning call with the news that her granddaughter had been hurt.
“The phone went off and I knew it couldn’t be good. Nobody calls me at that time,” she said.
Alexander is now recovering in an ICU in Cambodia after receiving skin grafts, but her family still needs help to get her home.
This week, doctors cleared Alexander to fly 8,000 miles home on a medical jet.
“That was exciting, just not knowing — though she is getting the best of care,” Ingram said. “Absolutely they saved her life, so we are very pleased with that.”
But without health insurance to help, the family needs $160,000 to fly their daughter to Denver, where the family lived after Miamisburg and before Cambodia.
“Just for the transit is over $160,000 just to fly her back. It’s like an ICU on wheels — or, well, on wings!” Ingram said.
You can help by donating to the family's GoFundMe goal of $250,000, which would cover the trip home and Alexander's medical expenses.
In the meantime, Ingram is preparing to leave Monday to meet her grandaughter in Denver.
“She just brightens your life,” Ingram said. “She’s my buddy.”