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CROWN POINT, Ind. — A 12-year-old Crown Point boy is on a road to recovery after he was critically injured in a furnace explosion over the weekend.

Jaden Mendez was helping his father, a heating and cooler contractor, Sunday in Hobart when something went wrong.

The furnace Mendez was helping his father work on began producing a hissing sound — sending Jimmy Mendez to his van for a part. Moments later, the furnace exploded — sending Jaden 50 feet through the air.

He was rushed to the hospital with burns over 25% of his body.

“You’re going to make it,” mother Theresa Mendez said. “That’s what I keep telling him, ‘stay strong.’”

Doctors were able to take Jaden off of a ventilator, but he remains in the ICU’s burn unit after undergoing the first of what’s likely to be multiple surgeries.

“It’s a long road to recovery, but he can do it.”

His school, St. Mary’s, has organized a GoFundMe to help his family with medical bills. At this time, it has raised over $35,000. Family said it will be early 2022 before Jaden gets out of the hospital.