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BUENA VISTA, Colo. -- David McGill's turnout gear sits in his locker at the Buena Vista Fire Department. The fire chief hasn't touched it because he wants it to be there for McGill when he comes home. No one knows when that could be but at the fire department, they're praying for McGill's recovery.
What McGill first though was food poising turned out to be a ruptured aorta. His chest was filling up with blood when he was flown the UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora. He survived an 11-hour surgery but he remains in a coma.
"I’m glad that I didn’t know that it was what it was when I was driving down because I don’t think I could’ve made the two-and-a-half hour drive down if I had known it was his heart," said Jackie Krueck, his wife.
Denver7 profiled McGill's family as part of a series on medical debt. At the end of that story, we asked viewers to help by donating to Contact7 Gives and those donations started coming in right away.
McGill and his wife have a 16-year-old son, Sam, who has been trying to spend as much time as he can at the hospital but he had to return to Buena Vista to attend school. Denver7 learned he didn't have a laptop so he was unable to do his homework at the hospital.
Earlier this week, Denver7 crews drove to Buena Vista to surprise Sam McGill with his very own MacBook computer. He thought our crew was shooting a story at the firehouse but when he walked in they handed him the laptop.
"This is great, it’s like Christmas! Thank you so much!" said McGill.
That's not all, viewer donations through Contact7 Gives allowed us to purchase Visa gift cards to help cover essentials for the family. Additional donations were used to write checks that will cover their utilities for the next few months. Another check went to the hospital to help pay for some of Jackie's meals at the cafeteria.
"I’m very grateful, if it wasn’t for the community, I don’t know where we would be right now," said McGill.