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Mancos man undergoing treatment at burn center in Aurora after car engine spontaneously combusts

Garan Shaw was severely burned while working on a car on April 12. (GoFundMe/Courtesy Photo)
Garan Shaw received severe burns over 25% of his body

A GoFundMe has been set up in support of Mancos resident Garan Shaw, who was injured in a flash fire while fixing a car as a gift.

On April 12, Shaw was “working on an old car that he was fixing up to gift to a kid in need of a vehicle,” when gasoline in the carburetor spontaneously combusted and created a flash fire, setting Shaw’s clothes on fire.

With the help of a neighbor, Shaw put out the fire, he suffered severe burns to his chest, arms, stomach, neck and face. He was taken to Southwest Memorial Hospital, where he was placed in a medically induced coma and flown to UC Health Anschutz Burn Center in Aurora.

“He suffered burns to 25% of his body, including internal damage from inhaling the flames. He has had several surgeries already, with more to come. It is likely that he will be in Denver for a number of months while he recovers,” the GoFundMe post said.

Shaw’s mother, Nancy, a 35-year veteran of the Montezuma-Cortez school district, has been by his side in Aurora since the accident “helping Garan stay strong and get through the long road ahead”

Only some of Shaw’s medical expenses will be covered by the tribe, and the remaining expenses will be on his family to provide. They are expecting his medical bills to be at least $100,000.

“If you know Garan, you know he is one of the most selfless people on this planet. He is notorious for putting everyone’s needs above his own, especially when it comes to his ever-so-adored mother, Nancy. Over roughly a decade ago, Garan was the first one on the scene to a car fire where he risked his own life to save a mother and one of her children. No matter anyone’s trouble or struggles, he is always willing to jump in and lend an ear, a hand, or just a hug – he truly is one of the best friends and family members anyone could be so fortunate to have. He is always wearing a huge smile, always joking around, and constantly trying to make other people laugh and make the most of their lives,” GoFundMe organizer Hilary Chandler said.

“He also loves lunch. Garan loves booking multiple luncheons per day so that he can be sure to see as many friends as he possibly can in a six-hour period. ... If you end up at a four o’clock lunch with Garan, it’s because he had three other lunches before you, but didn’t want to skip out on any of them. He really does live life to the fullest in his own special way.”

Donations are also being set up at a local bank.

As of the last GoFundMe update on April 29, Shaw had skin grafts on his right and left side, “which is an extremely painful process.”

Now, they wait and see if the transplanted skin will take to the new area.

On Wednesday evening, the GoFundMe had raised $8,965 of its $100,000 goal.