Burn victims reunite - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Burn victims reunite

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -- Three young men will forever be linked by one horrific moment.

''Looking at it that day, I didn't think I'd ever get out of the hospital,'' said Scott Conrad.

Adam and Scott Conrad and Brad Mahoney were getting ready to stain a customer's basement floor when, out of nowhere, disaster struck.

''We were prepping the floor with a cleaner and something ignited the cleaner which turned the whole basement into a ball of fire,'' Adam said.

''It was just, click, and then woosh, and all hell broke loose after that," said Mahoney.

But their hell was only beginning.  There was only one way out of the basement, and that was through the fire.

''As I was out, I was on fire completely,'' Adam said.

The three suffered massive third degree burns all over their bodies.

Adam sustained the worst injuries, almost three quarters of his body covered in burns.

''I was 70 percent, by their rights, I was supposed to be dead,'' he said.

The two Conrads and Mahoney were airlifted to the burn unit at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, beginning their long fights to survival.

The coming days and weeks consisted of surgery after surgery, so many, that it was difficult to keep count.

''You'd be feeling real good about yourself.  Then it'd be like, oh you gotta go to surgery, and you'd spend your two days in bed.  Now you gotta start walking again, every two weeks you had to learn how to walk again," Scott said.

But each began to progress at his own pace.  After two and half months Brad was released from the hospital.

And finally nearly four months after the accident, Adam and Scott were cleared from the hospital to return home for one night, on Thanksgiving.

''It was real great to be home with our family.  We were real thankful this Thanksgiving,'' Scott said.

While Adam and Scott continue their recovery as in-patients, Brad now goes to therapy 25 hours a week.

Relying on the hospital staff and each other, the three are expected to make full recoveries.

''We started out as co-workers and slowly became friends, and after this I feel like I have two older brothers now,'' Mahoney said.

Doctors expect it to take anywhere from one to two years before any of the three make full recoveries.

Online reporter: Jason Epner

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