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An Arizona mom and well-known blogger who survived a plane crash is getting an early Christmas present from her family in Provo: a house. There, she and her husband can spend time recovering from severe burns sustained in the crash.
A private plane Christian and Stephanie Nielson were in went down in Arizona this past August. It killed their friend and instructor.
Now, the Nielsons are recovering from their injuries: Christian was burned over 35 percent of his body; Stephanie, over 80 percent.
To help with recovery, the two decided to come back home to Provo to be near Stephanie's family. "Within a mile radius, you have a brother, two sisters and parents," Stephanie's brother-in-law Vance Checketts explained.
Vance and his wife, Page, who is Stephanie's sister, bought a home in Provo for the couple and their four children.
The home underwent several changes, which included major renovations. But that came with lots of help. "Lots of people who knew and loved Stephanie and Christian offered to help," Vance said.
So did Provo businesses. From the walkway outside to the concrete countertops, all were donated.
Stephanie's family says this house is a symbol of hope. "Her desire to get better and stronger has really increased because she wants to get back here and see her home," Stephanie's brother Jesse Clark said.
Stephanie, who remains in the University Hospital burn unit, has already undergone at least a dozen surgeries and has many more to go. "She's going to need a lot of help and care both for herself and for her children for quite a while," Page said.
The house is meant to be the gift that will let Stephanie and her family heal. "Especially at this Christmas season when we talk of giving and of service and of love, we are just overwhelmingly grateful and thankful for all of those people who've put in their time and effort," Jessie said.
Stephanie's blog, the Nie Nie Dialouges, has attracted a lot of attention even before the accident. Through that blog and others, Stephanie's family and friends have raised more than $200,000 that will go toward the couple's mounting medical bills.