Alumna survives apartment fire but still needs help

By Amelio Nazarko, Correspondent
On January 30, 2019

Rachel Parkman, a friend of the victim, has organized a GoFundMe page to help alleviate some of the financial ramifications that stem from the fire. SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE

Karina McAdams, a USF alumna who graduated in 2010 with a bachelor’s in mass communications, recently moved to Denmark in October to be with her boyfriend, Mikael Kristensen. This joyous new venture morphed into her life’s worst tragedy when a fire erupted in her Gundsølille, Roskilde, Denmark apartment on Jan. 2.

She would lose not just all of her personal effects in her new-found home, but her soulmate as well.

On Wednesday, Jan. 2 at around 8 a.m., the fire ignited due to unknown causes that are still being investigated by police. Allan McAdams, Karina’s father, suspects the tragedy ensued because of a lit candle.

Now, Karina’s loved ones and fellow Bulls are organizing a GoFundMe page to help lessen the financial burden caused by this tragedy.

The GoFundMe has a goal of $10,000 and has raised $3,662 toward that goal in 25 days.

The GoFundMe reads: “We need your help. Karina is an amazing human. Her humor and care for those she loves are unmistakable.  She has given so much to her friends and family and it’s our turn to help her out as a tragic accident has changed her life.”

“We are raising money to help with anything and everything as she rebuilds,” said Rachael Parkman, Karina’s friend who set up the GoFundMe.

Allan said for those hoping to lend a helping hand, this would be the route to go.

“GoFundMe is the best way to help Karina because she will be unable to work for a while,” Allan said.

Kristensen was asleep when the fire began. Karina put herself at risk in a desperate attempt to save her boyfriend from the raging fire and navigated the flames until she reached the bedroom.

“She may have become confused from the smoke and didn’t make it out,” Allan said.

Karina passed out in the home by her boyfriend’s side as the fast-spreading fire encased their apartment.

Miraculously, Karina survived because a man who was near the site of the fire went into the home and managed to save her. The man was not injured but Karina sustained severe lung damage and burns.

Kristensen’s funeral was held Jan. 23. It was arranged by the hospital that Karina is staying in so she was able to mourn the loss of her boyfriend along with his other loved ones.

Karina’s battle was just beginning. Her health was in drastic condition.

“She was in a medically-induced coma for several days at a local hospital,” Parkman said.

Karina is awake now but is suffering from the flu and pneumonia. The burns on her face, shoulders and lower back are not healing quickly and she is at risk of kidney failure which means she might need dialysis.

Once she is further along in the healing process, her doctors will decide whether they will conduct skin graft surgery for her burns.

“She is able to breathe without oxygen assistance but her voice use is low,” Allan said.

The extent of her injuries makes her recovery a daunting endeavor.  Karina must not only cope with the loss of her home and life’s belongings but the death of the man she loved.

“The psychological and financial damage is immense,” Parkman said.

Hope is ever-present within Karina despite her condition. Her will to heal has not fallen prey to the tragedy.

“She’s asking for prayers to recover and she is very focused on getting better,” Parkman said.

Doctors project it will take several months for Karina to heal due to the extent of her injuries, but Karina, her family and Kristensen’s family have united with the common goal of Karina recovering in the easiest way possible.

“(Karina) loved her experience at USF and she was often representing USF by wearing USF shirts and hoodies,” said Parkman.

Now, Parkman is hoping Karina’s loved ones and fellow bulls will rally around her in her time of need.

“She’s such an amazing person,” Parkman said. “She has given so much to her friends and family and it’s our turn to help her.”

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