Fire victim seeks help to cover costs
Friends of a Central Point man critically injured in a trailer fire Monday are trying to raise money to treat his wounds.
Justin Berlandi, 41, suffered extensive burns when a space heater in his trailer on Hopkins Road set fire to a recliner, which in turn ignited the rest of the trailer. Firefighters say Berlandi suffered extensive burns to his face and was taken to Rogue Regional Medical Center in Medford before being airlifted to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland, known for its burn-treatment unit. While Berlandi, who's being kept in a medically induced coma, is now listed in stable condition, doctors have told his family that the burn damage is much worse than they originally believed.
"Between 25 to 30 percent of his body (is burned)," says his younger brother Ryan Berlandi. "Mainly from his head down." Ryan says his older brother has at least six to eight weeks of surgery ahead of him, adding that doctors still don't know the full extent of Justin's injuries. Complicating matters is the likely cost of surgery for Berlandi, who is recently unemployed. "He doesn't have any insurance," his brother said.
Berlandi is a Rogue Valley native who went to Phoenix High School. "The rest of my immediate family is up in Anacortes, Wash.," his brother says. "2010 was when we moved back." He and Ryan spent most of their lives in the automotive industry, Ryan said. The father of a 19-year-old son, Berlandi is described by his brother as a "bubbly people person" who's very much loved by his community. "He's one of the types of people who would do anything for anybody," Ryan says. "He has a big heart."
Ryan Berlandi and other family members have since started an online fundraising drive through gofundme.com, an effort that had raised just over $3,000 in four days as of Saturday afternoon. "He's going to have to adapt his whole life to his injuries," the younger Berlandi says. "Any help we can get would be greatly appreciated."
People wishing to contribute to Ryan Berlandi's recovery fund can donate online at www.gofundme.com/n3ubrk.