SPRINGFIELD, Mo. A young mother severely burned in a fire that killed five children, two of whom were her own, is sharing her story for the first time.
Alee Malleck was released from the hospital Monday.
On the morning of June 6, Malleck and her two small children, 1 year-old Andre and Patience just 6 months-old arrived at Malleck's brother-in-law's mobile home . Malleck was babysitting her niece and two nephews, while her brother-in-law went to work. Not long after the family settled in and went back to sleep, unimaginable tragedy hit.
"I don't remember anything, really. I had what I thought was a dream of being in a fire," said Malleck.
It was her worst nightmare. She lost her two young children, niece Maeanna Hunt, age 3 and nephews Ethan Hunt, age 5 and Benjamin Hunt, age 1.
"It felt like my heart was gone and it still feels that way," she said.
It would be weeks until Malleck was taken out of a medically induced coma and told about the loss of her children.
"I know they had really good lives. I'm trying my best to stay strong because I know they'd want me to be," she said.
She is doing her best to understand what happened.
"I don't think that there's any reason why it happened. I think it's just something that can't be explained. I don't really get the chance or choice to change it," explained Malleck.
"I felt like the light had left my life but now that Alee's recovering it's coming back," said her husband, Tyler Malleck.
He doesn't leave her side.
"We've talked about having more children, where we want our life to be but it's going to take some time," he said.
Malleck has no shortage of support.
"I thought it would just be family and close friends," said her mother, Lori Carrillo.
AleeStrong, the online blog she started has thousands of followers.
"It helped me to, give me something else to focus on, give me a way to communicate with everybody all at once. I was just overwhelmed by the outpouring that we got on it," she said.
People from all over the world have reached out to Malleck.
"It's really amazing to see how many people actually are invested and actually care," she said.
In addition to online messages, she also gets letters and cards in the mail. She said the messages of support help to keep her going.
After being released from the hospital, Malleck spent about a week at a rehabilitation facility.
"She's been working really hard on her occupational and speech therapies to get that smile back," said Carrillo.
Malleck said, "I do really weird exercises."
"You have to pucker up and smile," said Carrillo.
Malleck said, "Yeah, I have to make funny faces."
She's even walking on her own.
Doctors tell her she should be physically healed in about 18 months.
"I'm just going to try to live day by day. I'm going to do what I can to stay strong," said Malleck.
Malleck doesn't know the man who saved her life, not even his name. She is excited to meet him and thank him very soon.
Investigators say they may never know how this fire started.
You can follow Alee's progress for yourself on Facebook on the Alee Strong page. There you can find her mailing address and ways to contribute to her recovery.
We've included the link to her page in this story.