John Warneke, PT, CSCS, C.Ped.:
"Tony taught me that people make choices in life. They choose to be successful; or not. They can let injuries affect them; or they can choose to see beyond them like Tony has done; accept it, and make the best of it.
Tony continues to come to the clinic on a regular basis for therapy sessions. I've come to place great value on our relationship."
Dr. Miao, MD:
"Tony was one of the worst yet that I ever treated. It wasn't until about forty-five days in to his hospital stay that I first began to think, 'maybe he'll make it. There may be light at the end of this tunnel.'
Tony is a courageous young man. A miraculous person."
Dr. Richard Grossman, MD:
"Tony ended up with good arms and legs. That's not always the case. You know someone was watching over him.
These burn patients lying in a bed; uncomfortable and in pain, they see Tony walk in. They can touch him, hear him talk, see his recovery for themselves. It's great inspiration for them.
When he comes to the hospital Christmas party, someone looks at him and says, 'look how good he did. I hope my kid can do that.'
As far Tony's spirit, he went through all this adversity and when he came out of it we all got to see the true spirit of the man inside."
Dr. Peter Grossman, MD:
"It's remarkable. I wish we could bottle what we did for Tony. But I think part of what happened is Tony's composition; his physical make-up. His own healing process is a large part of why he looks as good as he does. It's extraordinary and I'd like to take credit but a lot has to do with Tony.
Tony's recovery is not only remarkable in the physical sense; that's gratifying to see, but as a human being, just seeing him as a person, the way his spirit came back… He's got a determination to be the best father, husband and friend he can be.
When I lecture about burn care, I use Tony as an example of what can happen with the right care and circumstances. He's the gold standard for what we want to achieve. He's the type of patient we want all others to see. You got to' work hard; and he did. He got through with the loving support of his wife, children, family and friends. He's able to say, 'Know what? It is what it is,' and then to make the best of it. He truly did.
Some people choose to crawl into a hole in a cave; regress and move away from society. Tony decided to make it back into society with determination- with two feet and two fists. He's genuinely taken this tragedy and made the best of it. This sounds like an easy thing to do but it's tremendously difficult.
You know, early on in Tony's ordeal, I thought Ani might be a little naïve for having so much faith. In this case I am very happy to be wrong. Maybe I am the one who was naïve."
Kurt Richard, PA:
"Honestly, we painted a bleak picture for Ani in the beginning. We didn't want to give the family false hope; and at the same time we didn't want to' take all hope away either. Our thoughts at the time were, 'prepare her.' In simpler terms, we wanted to hope for the best but be prepared for the worst.
You have to distance yourself in the beginning… Since Tony's gone home, I've made a transition from 'patient provider' model to friend. It's nice now to just sit down with Tony and chat about stuff like the weather.
I thought Tony's return to bodybuilding after his dismissal from the hospital was inspiring! He came to me a little disappointed that he couldn't grip the bar properly. Then he says to me, 'but hey, I can cradle the crowbar in my hand and do curls this way even though I can't grip it.' I told him, 'you go right ahead.' He attacked it. He's a solid 230 pound guy now.
Tony continues to have surgeries… dermabrasions and steroid replacements. He never gives up. He's a testament to the human will. He's embraced his situation and continues to give back to the community. I guess it's time for me to eat crow! As far as Tony's hair goes, he can grow a better Van Dyke on his face than me!
The take home message is never quit. No matter how many people have their foot on your neck, never, never quit."
Jeff and Mindy:
"Although we had a busy schedule, it was impressed upon us that we needed to 'just go visit this man.' My impression was one of hope
because it was apparent that God had great plans through Tony's story. People often come to a fork in the road where they make decisions to
go one way or the other. The road Tony and his family chose, despite its pain and struggle was the road towards Jesus."
Glenn and Nancy Becker:
"Tony should've died; but Tony is the kind of a man who never gives up even when the odds are stacked against him. I could have died from a
serious illness but I fought that off with God's healing favor and Tony's contagious 'never give up attitude'. We've never heard him
complain about physical, financial or personal woes although he's been hit hard in all those areas. Always smiling, Tony downplays his
circumstances while being genuinely concerned about others. His mere presence is constant reminder that nothing is impossible with God."
"When my first and only love passed away, it seemed that emotional tumbleweeds blew without purpose through my barren heart. Ghostwriting
this book with Tony has filled the arid ghost town in me with blue roses and wisteria blossoms; I'm peaceful now. How many of us can
joyfully attest to the truth that he has seen angels; as Tony can?! He does not have to raise his voice or bellow from the rooftops to be
heard because when Tony speaks, people listen. Don't hesitate to check out this website further for additional information on speaking
Pastor Desiree Ayres:
"I know first hand the fear and anguish as you are shot full of morphine to relieve the constant pain; because like Tony, I too am a burn survivor. I also know first hand the power of God in the midst of
tragedy. I feel that part of His divine plan and purpose for Tony's life is- writing his book to encourage others with this message: that no matter what they go through to never give up. Tony is a 'miracle
man.' We can all learn from his wife Ani's example to fight the good fight of faith; and I applaud you Ani- you are a remarkable woman of God."
"I consider it a privilege to have been involved in Ani and Tony's life throughout this ordeal. They are both walking miracles. Ani for her strength and courage that she showed as I watched her rise up to
the challenge of caring for Tony and looking past the negative reports and keeping her faith strong.
Tony for ... well, you've just got to read the book, what an amazing guy!
I have no doubt that both Ani and Tony have a call on their life to bring hope and healing to so many who are hopeless. What an encouragement to know that God is still performing miracles
and I got to see it first hand!
This experience has turned their life in a whole new direction. They both are such fighters!"
Rick and Joan Whitlow:
"Two lumps of coal. And if you apply fire to coal it burns up and there is nothing left. I suppose that is not a very flattering description of two people that we have come to know and love dearly. However, in the case of Tony and Ani Yarijanian something magnificent
has happened. Under intense heat, and immense pressure instead of collapsing and burning up, we have witnessed firsthand The Lord Jesus extract two diamonds in the rough. He knew what was inside each of them, and of the potential each have for brilliance. He saw gemstones
that would immerge if they chose to allow Him to work in their unbelievably difficult situation. As we have gotten to know them we have seen the strength of diamonds emerge. Their positive, can-do attitudes; Tony's laughter, and Ani's take-charge strength are
contagious, and clearly gifts from God. They are more than survivors. They are warriors. They have incredible strength, yet they are humble, moldable and teachable people. They hunger to be polished and sparkle as the gems God intends them to be. And they are – by
allowing Him to keep working in every facet of their lives – so that not only do they take on a new strength and sparkle that they didn't have before their "trial by fire," but that when they shine it will be His reflection that creates the gleam and the flame in their lives."
"Hi, my name is Alenoosh Asatourian and I'm Tony's sister in law! It's been a real long road with Tony's recovery. We started with no hope to seeing the gold at the end of the tunnel. I wasn't a very much
believer of Jesus Christ until Tony's accident. After that I learned who Jesus Christ was and the role he had in Tony's accident was amazing! He healed Tony completely! I have more hopes in life now then
I ever did before! I can honestly say Tony is walking miracle!"
"As a new wife, Ani has truly experienced "for richer and poorer, in sickness and health" in her marriage; she has never given in to self pity or despair. She tenaciously stuck
by her husband's side and became his advocate when he couldn't speak for himself. Not only has she been a constant champion for Tony's medical care, this
experience has been the impetus for a new career in helping others as a respiratory therapist. What an amazing role model she has been for me! Its a tremendous blessing and
honor to know Tony and Ani and their children and to be a witness to all the miracles."
Pastor Scott and Kathe Wood:
"With Tony, it has been all about hope; hope for a strong healthy body - hope for a strong, thriving family - hope for a business that would prosper. Most people would have given up after just a few of
those surgeries (he couldn't even breathe at times and endured horrible pain throughout) and all those hospital stays - but not this couple. Whenever we saw Ani, she always looked hope-filled and she
showed an amazing strength and optimism. Tony NEVER looked down or depressed in any way --- this is God given hope. It's like they always had this 'vision' of good things ahead when things didn't looks
so good in the present. Tony has suffered greatly, but it appeared to us that that was not his focus. His hope was in His God and in God's promises to him."
It always touched me that Faye developed this habit of systematically calling people she didn't know in La Crescenta to offer to pray for them. And 2 1/2 years ago it provided a vital connection for us. I had the privilege of praying for a man badly burned in a fire back then. But I knew nothing about him and the hospital refused to tell me anything. Faye knew about the accident and was one of those who made it her business to keep praying for this man to recover.
Six weeks after the fire Faye made one of her "random" calls and offered to pray for the man who answered. Instead, he asked her to pray for his mechanic, Tony, who was badly burned in a fire six weeks before. Faye made the connection, called me and once I knew more personal information the hospital put me in touch with the family.
Today Tony is alive and well, and has 14-15 documented medical miracles (starting with the fact he had no chance for survival). He and his wife have both come to Christ, attend CVCC regularly, and the first day they came to CVCC Faye was one of the first to greet them. It couldn't be any other way, could it?!
"My caregivers are not only my doctors, they are my friends. I consider them my friends for life. Even though I had to get to know them the way that I did, I value them as the awesome wonderful persons they are. They had answers when we had questions; they still do, and I am honored to know them. I think they know I love them-and that is for a lifetime. They are my heroes."