Brothers recovering strong together after crossing through ‘wall of fire,’ losing parents

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- On Friday, family members and hospital staff spoke out about the experience Branson, Jared and Wesley Summers have had after nearly being killed in the Gatlinburg fire.

“I asked the hospital, 'Is there any way you can put the kids together in the same room so I can have this conversation with them?'" said Jim Summers when recalling Thursday's news.

He asked to have them altogether so he could tell his three nephews the flames they just battled their way through had taken the lives of their parents, Jon and Janet Summers.

“He and Janet were the most incredible parents in terms of teaching their children a work ethic,” said Jim.

It was the Summers first family vacation in several years to celebrate Jared and Wesley’s 22nd birthday. But it ended when they were told to evacuate their cabin in the valley.

The thick smoke separated them after their car couldn’t get farther then a tree blocking the road.

“It was unbelievable, quite frankly, the way the kids got down the mountain is a movie in itself,” said Jim.

He said the brothers fought through walls of fire, making it several miles to the bottom of the mountain before passing out and being found by authorities.

“If you could see them right now, their faces, they're just, they're smiling when people come into the room," said their cousin Marsha Crownover. "They're grateful to see you.”

Jared’s been released from the hospital and Branson and Wesley are expected to join soon after surgeries on Monday.

“They have a good spirit about them and I think they're going to do very well,” said Dr. Blair Summit with Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

All three boys beyond grateful for the love they’ve received, with Jared having a special message.

“He wanted everybody to know that, 'My parents, I believe died happy," said Jim on behalf of Jared. "'They were the happiest they've ever been.'”

And even though their parents have been taken from them, they’ll never be alone.

"They will have support," said Jim. "They will have support."

If you'd like to donate to the Summers family, you can go to their YouCaring account or donate to the trust fund Jim recently opened: "The Summers Brother Trust" at 80 Monroe Avenue Suite 650, Memphis, TN 38103.

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