UPDATE: Despite Critical Burns, Dana Truitt Makes A Turn - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

UPDATE: Despite Critical Burns, Dana Truitt Makes A Turn

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WMDT 47 NEWS – Just weeks after the fire at St. Paul's By the Sea Episcopal Church in Ocean City left Dana Truitt, 42, with burns covering 21 percent of her body – she makes a huge turn in her recovery.

Dana's fiancé, Charles Maddox, and her employer, Spiro Buas, owner of Buckingham Hotel, say her breathing tube has been removed, and she is talking, sitting up in a chair, and going through therapy.

"She is burnt and it's bad but she looks good, she looks really good," says Buas. "When I saw her Friday I was a little scared to go up there but I was very surprised at how well she looked. She still has a long road in front of her though."

To help her down that road, Buas and Maddox have started the "Dana Truitt Donation Fund" to offset medical expenses and costs associated with family visits to Baltimore.

Buas hopes that insurance will cover most of Dana's medical expenses so that they can use most of the money to get her family to visit and stay with her.

"Not only has she experienced a tough ordeal, but from what she explained to me about what happened that day, it's going to be a little traumatic to get over," says Buas. "She's a strong person because a lot of people would break down after that."

Loved ones tell WMDT, Dana remembers the frightening events the day of the fire. She reportedly says John Sterner entered the church on fire, grabbed her, and said "Dana, you are not getting out alive." Luckily, she was able to get away from Sterner and escape. Dana reportedly says she only knew Sterner casually from volunteering at the shelter.

"She loved it," says Maddox.

Now, Buas says that Dana is determined to get back to Ocean City, but it may still be three or four weeks until she is able to do so.

"She said I'm ready to come home," says Buas. "She seems strong willed, she's going to come through this just fine."

"I can't wait until she gets to come back, just to stay home with her for a while and spend time with her," says Maddox.

If you would like to donate to the Dana Truitt Donation Fund, you can send a check to C/O Bank of Ocean City, P.O. Box 150, Ocean City, MD 21843, or by dropping off a contribution at any Bank of Ocean City Branch. Donations may also be made online at a special link created at her employer's site.

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