Sunday marks one year since the explosion at Silver Trail Distillery in Marshall County. Kyle Rogers died from his injuries and Jay Rogers has gone through months of recovery.
Saturday, Jay was able to personally give thanks to first responders at a barbecue dinner at the South Marshall Fire Department.
“I was heavily damaged and they knew it, and they kept me calm. They kept me alert. They kept me going and it was, I can't describe the feeling that I got from those guys,” Jay said.
Jay is talking about the first responders who saved his life.
For first responders, like South Marshall Firefighter Gary Henry and South Marshall Fire Chief Ricky Sirls, who were there, they say the subject is still tender even after a year.
“The emotions are still there. I think about it on a weekly basis you might say,” Henry said.
Henry made sure the water kept running that day, and Sirls arrived shortly after Kyle was air-lifted.
“Looking around at everyone's faces you could see how distraught everyone was so I pretty well got a picture of what had happened,” Sirls said.
Now these first responders face each other in a different scenario.
“I owe it to them, to show my support for what they do… In the last 15 minutes, I’ve learned actually several different things about that day that I didn't know,” Jay said.
Jay's had months of physical therapy. He's gone through 15 surgeries in 8 weeks, but through the recovery, there were positive moments like marrying his fiancée Tiffany Taylor and a ruling in his favor in a lawsuit against The Revenoor Company .
“I'm mentally getting ready to go back to work,” Jay said.
In the meantime, he's trying to help others.
“The Vanderbilt burn clinic has a kids camp for kids that have been through their ICU. I am volunteering to be a camp counselor for that,” Jay said.
A favor he wants to return after so many helped him.
“I feel I have more of a purpose in my life than I have ever had, and I just want to return some of that to places where it needs to be,” Jay said.
Jay says he still has bad days where his skin doesn't cooperate depending on the weather. He says he still goes to physical therapy 2 to 3 times a week and will eventually need more surgery.
Silver Trail Distillery released a special moonshine in memory of Kyle Sunday. There are about 300 jugs of "Kyle's LBL Moonshine" available.
All proceeds are going to Kyle's scholarship fund.
100 Television Lane
Paducah, KY 42003