In August, KRIS 6 News told you about a little girl who was severely burned in a barbecue pit accident. One of our viewers saw that story and felt the need to help.
Gabriel Alvarado is a former burn victim. He has endured more suffering than most people do in a lifetime. Despite his hardships, Alvarado remains humble, hard-working, and has never lost a sense of humor.
“When I woke up from a 90-day coma I accepted what happened,” Alvarado recalls.
In September, Gabe sought out another burn victim he saw right here on KRIS 6 news. Baby Bella Ibanez was returning home after being released from the Shriners hospital burn unit in Galveston.
“The story about Bella aired, it touched my heart, me and my wife, so I said wow, let's reach out to them,” Gabe said.
Bella’s family had planned to surprise her with the homecoming/birthday party that was open to the public. He decided to stop by to meet little Bella.
Bella, like many three-year-olds, was in her own world until she locked eyes with Gabe. Alvarado knows all too well the struggles Bella has faced and will likely endure in her future.
“You know, we've been through it and we just thought it was something out of the kindness of our heart to do. So, when we met her, they had questions, we had answers, and we still keep in touch,” Gabe said.
Gabe has had to fight physical battles, like multiple surgeries and the painful recovery involved when recovering from intense burns. He’s also gone through emotional issues, such as learning to cope with adjusting to life as someone who stands out in a crowd. However, if you couldn’t tell Gabe is a survivor, and he wanted to use everything he’s learned and pass it down to little Bella. He says during his journey and rehabilitation he discovered the best version of himself.
“I’m more of a happy go lucky person, I was never like that. I was always kind of different, I was always uptight, you know,” Alvarado said.
Above all Gabe wants people to be safe on this Thanksgiving holiday. He wants us to be mindful of the fact that time here on earth is never guaranteed.
“Be grateful with what you got, be kind to your family, don't be upset with your loved one, hug your kid, hug your father, your mother because like I said, an accident could happen at any moment like it did to us and our friend, Bella,” Gabe said.
After all he’s been through, Gabe Alvarado has decided to write a book called, Fireproof Love. The book is a testament to the relationship he and his wife, Precious have. It is set for release in February. Gabe also recently opened a Colorado Mountain chocolate factory in La Palmera mall.