UC Merced student suffers severe burns in Mexico

MERCED, Calif. (KFSN) -- A UC Merced student and Firebaugh native who was visiting his father in Mexico is now trying to get back to the United States after suffering second and third-degree burns.

"I am really grateful for all the support and help I've received these past few days," said Manual Alejandro Macias in a video he sent to ABC30.

Twenty-year-old Manual Alejandro Macias is a Sophomore at UC Merced, majoring in Computer Science & Engineering.

In December, he traveled to Mexico, where he spent some overdue time with his father and continued his classes online.

"This is probably the longest stretch he has spent with dad in forever," said his cousin, Jazmin Perez.

On Tuesday, March 9th, Macias was spending quality time with his father working on a car. Suddenly, while pouring gas in the car, something causing a spark led to a burst of flames. The fire caught his shirt and quickly spread.

"It passed on to his legs, and his lower extremities are where he suffered the most damage because he was wearing shorts," said Perez.

After the incident, he stayed in a hospital in Guzman, Mexico, where he was only sedated, not treated for the burn.

After many calls, his family received recommendations and decided to do all they could to bring him home for treatment.

Something that is not cheap.

"The last thing we want is for him to lose movement in his legs," said Perez.

Perez says someone heard the story and offered to lend them a hand. That person helped with $32,000.

Money that is helping fly Macias back home this week and getting him started with the proper treatment at the Bothin Burn Center in San Francisco.

Perez is feeling thankful that her cousin, who is more like a brother, will finally get the help he needs.

"He is a good person, and I know this is going to be a long journey for him," she said. "I know he is tough, and I know he is going to ride it out."

Macias has this message for everyone helping him along the way.

"I just truly appreciate it all. Thank you so much to everyone."

Now, the family is hoping to raise money to pay the favor back and fill the gap for any needed treatments.

Perez says just sharing the post would be appreciated.

A GoFundMe account for the funds has been created.
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