Couple's road to recovery after tragic plane crash

Posted: Updated:
Moving to Utah to be closer to mom


MESA - Two members of a Mesa family nearly lost their lives in a fiery plane crash in Northern Arizona.

The couple spent more than two months in drug-induced comas, as other family members took care of their four children.

One of the survivors has decided that the family must move to continue on their road to recovery.

"It's our tree house that we built," says Christian Nielson, as he looks at the makeshift home nestled into the large tree in their backyard.

Nielson wishes he could take it with him, as crews pack up his family's belongings.

The 30-year-old is moving his family of six to Utah, where his wife, Stephanie is undergoing intensive physical therapy.

"This picture wall is now bare and empty, but it used to be a place where we displayed our family," says Christian, who is simply thankful his family is alive.

The plane he and his wife were flying in crashed last summer in St. Johns, Arizona.

"We had a problem shortly after take-off and attempted to do an emergency landing," says Christian.

"It ended up being a crash landing with a lot of fire and all of us sustained some significant burns."

Flames burned 40% of Christian's body and more than 80% of Stephanie's.

"I've got these compression garments that I wear," says Christian.

He and his wife have matching blue gloves to cover their skin grafts and scars--many of them: emotional.

"It's the scariest thing that has ever happened to me-b eing so close to death and so close to losing my wife."

He lost his friend and fellow pilot in the crash.

Stephanie still has at least a year and a half of physical therapy.

The cost is already in the millions.

The family does have a website with fundraisers and ways to donate.