WNY Family Praying for Injured Army Soldier

May 9, 2013 Updated May 9, 2013 at 8:31 PM EDT

By Rachel Elzufon

May 9, 2013 Updated May 9, 2013 at 8:31 PM EDT

Cheektowaga, NY (WKBW) - A Cattaraugus County family is trying to stay strong, after find out that their son was injured by an explosion at an Army base in Afghanistan on April 20th.

24-year-old Army Ssgt. Robert Thomas suffered burns to 87-percent of his body.

He is stationed in Texas and is originally from Fontana, California. The soldier's father, stepmother and little sister live in Freedom, New York.

Ssgt. Thomas has an upcoming surgery to have his ears and fingers removed. This follows multiple skin grafts.

His father is already in Texas. However, his stepmother and sister could not afford to go.

Katie Thomas learned late Thursday morning that WNYHEROES, Skip Wardynski and Southwest Airlines worked together to get an open ended trip for Katie Thomas and her 7-year-old daughter, so they could be by Ssgt. Thomas.

Ssgt. Thomas has a 50-percent chance of survival.

The flight carrying Katie and her daughter left Thursday at 5:30 in the evening.