Tragic arson attack doesn’t kill 8-year-old survivor’s Christmas spirit

September 4, 2017 1:25 pm Last Updated: September 4, 2017 1:25 pm

The innocence of a child is a precious thing—something so special that sometimes even the most tragic of events can’t take away that spark.

When Safyre Terry was only 5 years old, she survived a living nightmare, enduring one of the most difficult of journeys imaginable. But she made it through—with the will of a fighter and the spirit of a child.

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On May 2, 2013, Safyre was the sole survivor of a horrific arson attack. Her apartments were set ablaze in Schenectady, New York, and she lost her father, sister, and two brothers that night. Her father died saving her life.

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When firefighters arrived to the family’s enflamed home, Safyre’s brothers, sister, and father were already dead. They found Safyre, curled underneath her father’s charcoaled body—he had huddled over his daughter, protecting her from the flames. Her father was dead, and Safyre was rushed to the hospital.

Doctors didn’t expect her to live. The 5-year-old had lost her right hand, her left foot, and suffered 75% burns all over her body. But she had the will to live. She endured over 50 operations in the course of months at the hospital.

The tragedy couldn’t kill her Christmas spirit.

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Despite all the hardships Safyre has gone through, she still loves Christmas wholeheartedly! Last year, her aunt purchased a wired tree to hang Christmas cards on, and Safyre was so excited!

Her aunt Liz Dolder had taken over the care of Safyre and was committed to giving her the life that every little girl deserves. When Christmas rolled around, the only thing Safyre wanted was enough Christmas cards to fill up the wired tree her aunt had purchased. But Dodler, expecting only a couple of cards, didn’t think that was possible.

When she looked at Safyre’s excited little face, Dodler got an idea.

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She wrote a Facebook post asking people to send the 8-year-old Safyre Christmas cards so she could fill up her tree.

The post was shared over 20,000 times, and soon Safyre’s mailbox was flooded with Christmas cards from friends, neighbors, and strangers—making this little girl’s Christmas a very merry one indeed.

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It was a special Christmas for Safyre, who got her Christmas card wish and more! Despite having lost her family, she is loved and well cared for.

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