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He Wasn’t Supposed To Survive But This Burn Victim Dad Inspired So Many With His Story



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Chris Tomlinson is a burn victim dad who suffered severe burns to 98% of his body as a baby. And life has been anything but easy for him ever since.

As an adult, finding work has been a challenge for Chris. And because of it, Chris and his two daughters have found themselves homeless at times.

But Chris’ faith is bigger than his struggles. And since following God’s call to share his story, the burn victim dad has inspired so many!

Surviving Against All Odds
Before Chris Tomlinson was even two years old, he suffered a terrible accident. The curious toddler managed to slip away and wander into a shed in the backyard where it only took a few minutes for disaster to strike.


The little boy accidentally knocked over a can of gasoline which got all over him. And when the pilot light on the hot water heater turned on, it ignited the gas. In moments, flames covered the tiny boy and he suffered burns to 98% of his body.

After his mother rescued him and rushed him to the hospital, doctors gave Chris only a 1% chance of surviving the night. But his family gathered and prayed over him and miraculously, Chris pulled through.

After surviving such a horrific event, Chris Tomlinson has overcome incredible obstacles in his life. Growing up, he didn’t get to enjoy childhood the way most kids do. He spent a lot of time in hospitals and underwent over 200 surgeries. Yet, Chris remained positive through it all because of his faith in Jesus…

“I always found the positivity in everything,” he explained. “I had this big old smile on my face because I knew God was with me… It wasn’t just by my own strength, it was God who was there for me the whole time.”

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During the many surgeries and painful recoveries, Chris leaned on a specific Bible verse to help give him strength.

“When I am afraid, I will put my trust in you.” Psalm 53:3

God Blesses Burn Victim As A Dad
God has continued working in Chris Tomlinson’s life. Doctors warned him for most of his life that because of all the medicines and surgeries, he’d never be able to have kids. However, God proved them wrong. Chris has two daughters and it’s one of God’s greatest blessings.

But, of course, he still faces plenty of challenges, too…


As a burn victim, Chris has endured stares, questions, and judgments all of his life. His appearance and physical differences have made it difficult for him to find a job. Even as he’s tried to find work as a computer technician, employers have said the burn victim dad is not “physically fit” for the tasks…

Without a dependable income and when the cost of rent for their apartment increased, Chris and his family found themselves homeless. But even in the darkest moments, Chris continued clinging to his faith and trusting God to see him through.

One day, Chris Tomlinson decided to open up about his struggles online. His goal wasn’t to get pity. Instead, the burn victim dad sought to start a conversation about the way the world sees and treats people with disabilities. But God used it as a way to bring Chris support and encouragement.

Chris’ story touched and inspired so many who heard it. Chris even had the opportunity to offer advice and encouragement to the family of another burn victim! And as Chris poured his heart into helping others, there were those that wanted to help him.

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Continuing To Overcome
The generosity of strangers helped Chris get back on his feet. But he entered another valley when his wife of 14 years walked out on him, leaving Chris to raise two daughters on his own.

“It’s horrible,” Chris said when describing the heartache he felt after his wife left. “I’d rather be burned all over again than to experience that pain.”

But that’s when the full blessing of Chris’ children became evident.

“I looked at my kids and they were smiling at me and they hugged me,” he recalled. “And I was like, ‘This is my purpose. This is what I need to do — they need me..


During the difficult time, Chris and his two daughters ended up returning to Chris’ hometown in Florida.

As a child, Chris’ family moved to Massachusetts after his accident so he could continue to receive treatment at the Shriner’s Burn Institue in Boston. So, that’s where he grew up and started a family of his own.

But many years later, the burn victim dad returned to Plant City, Florida, for a relative’s funeral. While there, Chris Tomlinson plugged into a church where he felt such a deep, spiritual connection. Then, God used a car accident of all things to put Chris where he needed to be.

Chris was still wrestling with depression. But the car accident served as a wake-up call for him. He knew it was time to come back to his hometown. And that’s where God called him to start sharing his testimony in order to inspire and encourage others.

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WATCH: Burn Victim Dad Shares His Testimony As An Inspirational Overcomer


Chris Tomlinson still faces challenges every day. He still wonders and worries over how he can be there for his daughters — physically, mentally, and financially. But he also has a community of believers to help encourage him. And after overcoming so much already, Chris is able to inspire and encourage others with his story, too.

Some people look at Chris and see a burn victim. But this brave dad prefers to call himself a burn survivor. Chris’ story includes many struggles but is filled with victories, too.


Chris wasn’t supposed to survive. But because of God, he did. He wasn’t supposed to have kids. But because of God, he did. And now, Chris Tomlinson is sharing his story so others will let God work in their lives, too.

“It’s a big passion of mine to get my story out there. Again, not for me but to bring the glory to God,” he explained. “Because a lot of people think God’s not working anymore — God doesn’t do miracles. God does miracles every second every day. All you got to do is look around you.”

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