The parents of burn victim Cody Healey are looking for answers about the events that lead to their son’s injuries at a New Year’s party in Allenton.
Cody Healey, 26, Pace, told his mom 2013 was going to “be his year” after a divorce and unemployment dropped hard times into his life in 2012.
But 2013 has proven to be worse. Just minutes after midnight witnesses say Healey was “sucker-punched” unconscious and landed in a bonfire, face first. He was down for “about 30 seconds” according to one witness. By the time Healey was pulled from the fire, he had suffered second- and third-degree burns over his face, chest, hands and neck.
His dad, Craig Healey, was at the USA Medical Center Burn Unit in Mobile all day Thursday. He said his son is suffering tremendous pain and will likely be scarred the rest of his life.
“I’m a tough old bird,” Craig Healey said, “I can take blood and guts ... doesn’t phase me. But I looked at my son and I couldn’t stay in the room. I left after two minutes because I didn’t want him to see me cry.”
The man who is accused of punching Healey and knocking him into the fire is 24-year-old Devin Lee Bass of Milton. Bass was charged with two counts of aggravated battery and one county of obstructing justice. He was released on $6,000 bond.
And that is what has Cody Healey’s mother so upset.
“My son is going to be in a burn unit for at least 30 days and that (person) who caused this is out in two days? He should at least be held for 30 days, like my son. My son is fighting for his life,” Debra Healey said, “and that man is walking the streets? There is something wrong with that.”
Josh Morrison was at the bonfire when the incident occurred. He said when Cody fell into the fire no one knew what to do. “We were kind of in shock,” he says. “...it was horrible.”
Morrison said someone grabbed Healey by the belt and removed him from the blaze.
“He didn’t wake up until he was out of the fire. He started trying to touch his face, but they wouldn’t let him. He was burned on his face, arms, and neck.”
Morrison said partygoers used their jackets to put out the fire that was burning Healey’s clothing after he was removed from the bonfire.
Bass reportedly struck another person who was trying to help Healey out of the fire. The second victim, Bradley Cremeans lost two teeth and received a cut on his face.
Healey was transported to Scared Heart Hospital and then on to the burn center in Mobile. He is listed with third degree burns to his face and torso.
His father said they removed the respirator that has been helping him breathe since he arrived.
“If his lungs are damaged he’s going to die. My son is in bad shape. He is struggling for his life.”
Craig Healey goes on to say, “His face is so swollen right now, I don’t know if he can see. His lips, his eyes are burnt.
“I can’t believe the person who did this is walking free while my son is fighting for his life. Cody was sucker-punched. It wasn’t like two guys were fighting and one got knocked down. Cody doesn’t even know him.
“This guy didn’t even have the decency to pull (Cody) out of the fire. He went on to fight with another guy who was trying to help Cody,” he says.
“Six hundred dollars is all it took to get (Devin Bass) out of jail. That judge set a $6,000 bond. If the judge could see my son, if he stood here and looked at him, that judge would never have let him out. Six hundred bucks and he’s a free man.”
“It is so hard to see my son like this.”
Craig Healey said Cody was recently hired at Home Depot, but he fears now his son will lose the job due to time away for injuries from the fire.
“He has a 4-year-old daughter,” he said.
Cody Healey was listed in critical but stable condition Thursday, according to his mother.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Cody Healey was breathing on his own Friday and was going in for grafting surgery.