Couple marks 1 year since house explosionPosted: Updated:
PEORIA, Ariz. -- It was Oct.16, 2013 when Tiara Del Rio's and Beau Zimbro's home went up in flames.
A gas leak caused the house to explode when Del Rio lit a candle.
Now, a year later, the couple is home from the hospital and trying to heal.
"To me, I can't believe it's already been a year. It's remarkable," Zimbro said.
Zimbro has had just shy of 20 surgeries to repair what the burns did to his body.
"Skin grafts, stomach surgery, they had to put a trach in me. They just got done doing surgery on my pinky," Zimbro said.
Del Rio has had 22 surgeries.
The latest was a skin graft on her hand, but she sees so much progress. The burns on her face are healing well, and her hair is growing back.
"It's still a struggle, but I see a lot of difference from when I look at pictures from when I was first admitted from three months to six months to now," Del Rio said. "I'm really really happy with the way that it came out because I had third- and fourth-degree burns on my face."
The two had only been dating for a month before the explosion happened, and after months of healing at their parents' homes, they've now moved in together.
"We got a bond that most people don't have," Zimbro said. "She helps me out, and I help her out. We got something special together."
Zimbro can drive, which gives the couple a way to get around now, but he cannot move his left arm because of a calcium deposit that still needs to be removed.
The burns over the majority of Del Rio's body are healing nicely as the pair marks the one-year anniversary of the day their lives as they knew them changed in an instant.
"I want to thank everybody," Zimbro said. "There are so many people who helped out our families and just hundreds and hundreds of people across the nation that I didn't even know that prayed for us and I just want to show a little gratitude."
Del Rio and Zimbro both have upcoming surgeries.
It will be a while before they go back to work.
But Thursday they are throwing a party for family and friends to look back at what they've survived and celebrate the lives they live.