Purple Heart recipient dies saving 3-year-old granddaughter

·2 min read

A Purple Heart recipient and Army veteran has died saving his 3-year-old granddaughter from a house explosion in Oklahoma, WOFL reports.

Don Osteen, 69, of Maud, succumbed to his injuries on Monday, his son Brendon announced on Facebook this week.

"He was surrounded by a large group of his favorite people for his last 5 days," Brendon wrote. "He knew that he did his job by saving the life of his Boo Boo Chicken. He loved my daughter beyond unconditionally. And he gave it all for her to live. He was a great God fearing man who impacted so many people. And he will be missed dearly."

On September 19, Don was standing between 15 and 30 feet away from the front door, when he reportedly lit a candle near a stove. That, in turn, triggered an explosion and caused roof to collapse on Brendon's daughter Paetyn. Don purportedly rushed into action and pulled the toddler away from the flames, carrying her a quarter of a mile away from the scene despite suffering injuries himself.

"My dad was a very Christian man. He believed he should try his best to live his life to the standard of Jesus Christ and that was his first obligation every day that he woke up," Brendon continued in his post. "He lived to be like Christ, and he gave his life in sacrifice of my daughters Like Christ. He was happy on his way to heaven and I hope that brings all of you who knew him and loved him personally to peace with his passing. Rest In Peace Daddio. You’re a hero."

Brendon's father ended up suffering a collapsed lung, broken ribs and burns on over 70 percent of his body. Paetyn, on the other hand, suffered burns on 30 percent of hers. Both were airlifted to a hospital, where Don was placed in the ICU in critical condition before later passing away on Monday.

On Friday, Brendon updated his friends and family on Paetyn's condition, saying that she had been transferred from the pediatric intensive care unit to her own room.

"The resilience of this little girl is more than most men I see nowadays," he wrote. "One proud set of parents here. We’ve got a special one for sure."

Since the explosion, the family has set up a fundraiser on Facebook to help cover the toddler's medical expenses. As of Friday, it has raised over $4,000.

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