Two children who were badly burned in a house fire in Bryan early Saturday morning are doing better. Twin brother and sister Victor and Vickia Hamilton are at a pediatric burn unit in Galveston. Both are now breathing on their own.
Victor suffered burns to 99 percent of his body, but doctors say he could be well enough to come home in six months. Vickia is responding well to treatment and could be released in as early as two weeks.
The family is grateful for their survival and grateful for the love and support of the community. Two sets of families are pulling together to support one another.
Jorry Carroll looks at the charred remains of the house where his daughters fought to save his grandchildren. Nine-year-old Brandon Hubbard, a student at Neal Elementary, and his cousin, seven-year-old Gabrielle Banks of Waller could not be saved from the fire.
"God's in charge. We're doing well. The support of the community, the churches and everyone has just been amazing," said Carroll.
Carroll is trying to be strong for his daughters Roshunda and Coisha. He remembers well his grandchildren’s' spirit.
"They were very playful children. They were all bright and happy children, loving children," said Carroll.
Another family coping with the loss is the family of teachers and fellow students at Neal. Brandon was a third grader at the school where his great- great aunt is the principle.
Brandon's teacher, Carmalita Brown, says Brandon was a model student and had a lot of friends.
"Brandon was a good student. He was very respectful and always willing to help out when we needed and a very hard worker. He'll be missed," said Brown.
"We're going to have to just really make sure to monitor their feelings. Let them ask all the questions they need to ask and be there for them if they're felling unsure or feeling anxious," said Neal Counselor, Dr. Jane Finegan.
Counselors and ministers are helping the staff, students, and family work through the grief.
"We have the support of a lot of ministers and the support and love of the community holding us," said Jorry.
Funeral arrangements for Brandon and Gabrielle have been set for Saturday at noon at Shiloh Baptist Church in Bryan.
Upload your photo, with a caption of your reason to smile, then watch the last half hour of BVTM from 6:30A - 7A Monday mornings to see if your photo makes it.