Audrey Mabrey: Bay area burn victim credits her survival to the community

12:24 AM, Feb 12, 2011   |    comments
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New Port Richey, Florida - This is the first glimpse of Audrey Mabrey a year and a half after her husband changed her face forever.

It was back in November of 2009, when Audrey and her husband Chris were inside their Apollo Beach home. Deputies say they had a fight and Chris hit Audrey in the head with a hammer, then set her on fire.

Somehow, Audrey managed to escape through the garage and she ran into the neighborhood for help.

Chris Hanney was arrested and charged with attempted murder.

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As for Audrey, she fought to stay alive.  Now, the community is helping her family to survive.

"It took me a year to get disability, which I haven't even gotten my first check yet.  I haven't gotten any child support for my two children.  If it hadn't been for the community, I don't know where we would have stood financially," said Mabrey.

Julie Weintraub with the non-profit Hands Across the Bay says Mabrey's story compelled her to help.  "She was in a coma and she had two little kids she was trying to care for and it just broke my heart and I thought we have got to do soemthing to help her," said Weintraub of the famed Gold & Diamond Store.

On Friday, Hands Across the Bay partnered with New Port Richey Hyundai to get Audrey out of a rental car.

Scott Fink, the owner of the dealership, handed Audrey the keys to her brand new Hyudai Elantra, along with a check to cover insurance costs.

"When I handed her the keys and I looked in her eyes, I didn't see the burns.  I didn't.  I saw an intelligent, vibrant, very pretty woman," said Fink.

Emotional, with tears streaming down her face, Audrey said, "I never ever thought this would happen to me but more than that, I never thought that eveybody would back me and support they way that they have."

In addition to the car, Hands Across the Bay has also helped Audrey get a new home recently. Her house in Apollo Beach was condemned after the fire.

To find out more about Hands Across the Bay, contact Julie Weintraub via email at julie@handsacrossthebay.com or call (727) 573-9351. 

Erica Pitzi, 10 News Reporter

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