Firefighter leaves legacy

Sunday, March 30th 2008, 10:41 pm
By: News 9

By Kirsten McIntyre, NEWS 9

Since the fire, members of Liberty Baptist have been praying for the family of Destry Horton.

Horton died after being critically burned while battling one of the wildfires that same day near Duncan.

For his family, his tragic death has brought a lot of tears but also a determination to make a difference for Oklahomans.

"People say, in time, it gets easier, but it hasn't," Destry's wife, Brandy Horton said.

The sadness is still just below the surface for Brandy. It's been two years since her husband died, but time is moving slowly.

"It feels like it's probably been about a month, two months at the most," Brandy said.

Destry was critically burned when strong winds changed direction, trapping him in the path of a quick moving wildfire. He spent three weeks in the Baptist Burn Center but there was little doctors could do.

"I try to keep my Daddy as close as I can," daughter, Kiley Horton said. "But, I miss my Dad a lot. I'm very proud of him."

"The last time we missed him, we missed him a lot, so we just grabbed some balloons with some presents and we left the balloons go and they floated in the sky for Daddy," daughter McKenzie Horton said.

Despite their difficult loss, Destry's family has found a way to help others. They're now raising money to help renovate the Intensive Care Unit at the burn center.

"Destry would love it," Destry's mother, Jeri Thomas said. "He would want us to do something good out of this tragedy. He would want his family to get behind this effort."

The ICU was last updated in 1991. The improvements will cost a little more than $1 million.

"We're pushing 15 years already with the same beds, same wing equipment, the same monitoring equipment and this all needs to be redone," Dr. Paul Silverstein of the Paul Silverstein Burn Center said.

When it's done, the new unit will be named after Destry Horton. His family considers it an honor.

"We want people to come to the burn center and know that it doesn't matter what state they're in, that our burn center we have in Oklahoma is the best there is," Brandy said.

Again, more than $1 million has to be raised to renovate the burn ICU.

If you would like to make a donation in Destry's name, click here.