On Saturday afternoon, Derae Caro got a call that changed her life. Her boyfriend, 23-year-old Dillon Dreher, was flown by helicopter to North Colorado Medical Center after the oil tank he was working on in Weld County caught fire.
"It’s just like a nightmare," said Caro, 23. "I was splashing water on my face because I really was just like this is not real.”
She met Dreher in seventh grade. She was his first kiss. They rekindled that relationship two years ago, and she said he became a father figure to her daughter, Lilly. Now Caro said Dreher is in a medically induced coma with burns on 65 percent of his body.
“I didn’t know that burns could be so bad," Caro said while tearing up. "You know he doesn’t look the same."
Caro and Dreher's parents have been able to see him and talk to him. But he can't respond. She said doctors expect him to be in the hospital for at least two months.
“His life will probably never be the same after this so that’s what hurts the most," she said. "Because I just want him to be happy and healthy and, you know, not have to worry about anything else."
Dreher's family has set up a GoFundMe to help with medical expenses. You can donate if you wish at this link.