Five-year-old Jaxson Oliphant’s mother, Lindsey, thought that after her son’s 11-month hospital stay — where he was being treated for liver and kidney failure — the worst was behind them.
But almost immediately after getting in their car to make the six-hour trip home from the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin to Ashland, Wisconsin, Oliphant noticed smoke was coming out from under the hood. Minutes later, their car was engulfed in flames.
“Nothing of my car is left. I feel overwhelmed,” Oliphant tells PEOPLE. “I don’t know how to explain it. I feel like every time we do good, something bad happens.”
Everything changed for Lindsey, 33, and her family when Jaxson was diagnosed at 3 years old with nephrotic syndromes, a severe kidney issue.
“That led to chronic kidney disease, liver failure and lung issues,” she says. “He’s had two liver transplants, a stroke and seizure.”
During the 11 months he was at the hospital, Oliphant was by his side every day. Not knowing if he’d make it through many nights “really hit me hard,” she says, “but he’s continued to prove every doctor wrong.”
“I’ve been told I’m very strong,” she says. “I might look that way on the outside but deep down I’ve been broken.”
Just last week, doctors told Oliphant that he could go home but will have to return to the hospital once a month for tests.
“I don’t know how I’m going to get there,” says Lindsey, who also has three other children. “If he gets a fever I’ll have to take him immediately.”
RELATED VIDEO: Five-Year-Old With Terminal Brain Cancer Lives Out Dreams by Becoming Firefighter, Policeman and Pilot
When Lindsey was standing on the side of the road with the few things she was able to take from the car — including her son’s wheelchair — a woman pulled over on the side of the road to help.
And after hearing about what they were going through, she offered to help and created a GoFundMe page for the family. As of Saturday afternoon, the page raised $45,630, far exceeding the $10,000 goal.
- Want to keep up on the latest from PEOPLE? Sign up for our daily newsletter to get our best stories of the day delivered straight to your inbox.
Despite countless unknowns of her son’s health and having no mode of transportation, Lindsey says she’s staying positive.
“I have to be strong for the kid and especially for Jax so that he won’t stop fighting,” she says.