Burn victim welcomed home with heartwarming homecoming - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Burn victim welcomed home with heartwarming homecoming

Friends and family welcomed Taylor Duke home (Source: WALB) Friends and family welcomed Taylor Duke home (Source: WALB)
Posters and balloons lined the driveway (Source: WALB) Posters and balloons lined the driveway (Source: WALB)
Friends made small posters with Bible verses (Source: WALB) Friends made small posters with Bible verses (Source: WALB)
Taylor Duke (Source: WALB) Taylor Duke (Source: WALB)
Velda Duke (Source: WALB) Velda Duke (Source: WALB)
COLQUITT CO., GA (WALB) -

It was an emotional return home for a Colquitt County burn victim who spent months in the hospital.

“It's wonderful. There [is] nothing like home; it's been hard honestly,” said Taylor Duke.

Duke has been in an Atlanta hospital since he suffered severe burns in January. There were times he wasn't sure he would survive.

Taylor said he doesn't remember much from the night nearly his entire body was consumed in flames.

The last four months have been tough yet rewarding at the same time.

"Lot of tears of joy actually just so happy to be home," said Duke.

Duke's life changed in January when he tried to throw diesel on a fire at a deer camp.

"I don't remember if the can exploded or what. I just remember catching on fire and rolling around," said Duke.

Duke suffered severe burns on his body from his stomach down. The reality of the situation hit Duke when he was in the hospital.

"When I got to the hospital I was okay I think for a week or so then it kicked in that I was going to be there a while," said Duke.

"It's the hardest thing I've ever been through in my life," said Duke's mother, Velda Duke.

There were even times in the recovery that he thought he wouldn't make it out.

"That thought crossed my mind a few times. It did," said Duke.

Last week though, after four long months of rehab, Taylor got cleared to come home.

"They told me last week and it's just drug on ever since then. I've been counting the days down and it seems like forever," said Duke.

Friends and family arranged a big welcome home party Tuesday. Signs and balloons lined the path to his house.

"I never would've imagined that all these people would've been here this afternoon," said Duke.

"The churches, friends, family, they've come through and prayers and visits, prayers most importantly," said his mother.

There's still a long road to recovery ahead, but Taylor is confident he'll be back just as strong as before.

"Every day I got stronger and I could see home getting closer and closer," said Duke.

Home is exactly where Taylor is for good. Taylor said his faith in God carried him through those tough first few weeks.

His mom said this story makes for a strong testimony he hopes to share with others.

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