Thank you for taking the time to read this.
Our family member, Patricia Borges, is a Line Operator at R.M. Palmer.
She was working on a line in the Foil/Packaging area of the facility on Friday, March 24th, 2023 when an explosion tore through the building at 4:50 PM.
The blast knocked Patricia forward onto the floor. A fire broke out almost immediately, setting her right arm ablaze.
She attempted to move forward among the fire and debris when she fell through the damaged floor, dropping her into a liquid chocolate holding tank below. The chocolate extinguished the flames on her arm.
She stared up through the opening in the tank as the inferno filled the air above her. She backed herself further into the tank as the fire was entering through the same opening she fell through.
The flames backed off as firefighters went to work outside. The water they were spraying began filling the tank she was in. Fearing that she could drown in the tank, Patricia pulled herself out of the tank while suffering from a broken clavicle that previously went unnoticed.
She hopped off of the tank and dropped down into a pool of water that had accumulated in the basement. Her legs ached terribly. She later learned that she had broken both of her heels.
Coming to the surface of the water, she grabbed hold of tubing that was hanging in the basement. She sat there calling out for help for the next nine hours.
At ~2:00 AM several rescue workers heard her cries for help and made their way toward her, but were unable to reach her.
She swam in the direction of their voices and flashlights until she finally made contact with them and ended up in their care.
Patricia's right arm was severely burned.
Both of her heels were broken, as well as her clavicle.
She is currently receiving treatment at Reading Hospital and is in stable condition.
As you can imagine, we are overwhelmingly thankful that she was able to survive this terrible event. Unfortunately, Patricia has a long journey ahead.
We are looking for monetary assistance to aid in her rehabilitation, as well as empower her to recover comfortably.
All funds will go towards her care, quality of life modifications due to her limiting injuries (namely wheelchair access), food and water, and general day-to-day needs.
Thank you for taking the time to hear her story, and thank you for helping support this resilient woman.