Gilbert explosion victim looking at long recovery

GILBERT, AZ - Jason Nelson will undergo his fifth surgery Tuesday since a natural gas explosion burned 80% of his body February 9th.

Doctors told his family he has 10-20 surgeries in his future.

"Everyday we're told, is going to be a rollercoaster not only for him but also our family," said Nelson’s mom Debbie Nelson.

The 39-year-old’s parents said his back and arms took the brunt of the blast, fortunately his thighs were protected enough that doctors will look to graft skin from there.

His parents and girlfriend said they spend every day at the hospital supporting him through a critical junction in his recovery process. 

Nelson is in a medically induced coma to protect him from the pain and his body is fighting infection, but his father says his face looks good and he’s starting to regrow facial hair which is a positive sign.

His mom said their son is strong willed and they are taking a cue from him and doing their best to stay strong and keep in good spirits.

"He's got a sense of humor, he's got his dad's stubbornness, so that'll come in handy." Debbie said.

Nelson was injured taking a cigarette break while doing work on his rental house. The cigarette ignited natural gas that had been leaking underground just off his property.

Gas has still been detected in three neighboring homes and those residents are still not allowed to return home.

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