"There are people out there who care about you and are willing to help you as long as you’re willing to help yourself," Cedric says.
As little as two decades ago, burns covering more than half the body were likely to result in death. But medical science has come a long way.
While today burn injuries affect approximately 500,000 people a year, more than 90 percent of burn patients survive. As a result, more people than ever are living in the aftermath of a severe burn – and their needs are unique and numerous.
For 26 years, the Burn Center Golf Invitational has been raising
money to help those burn survivors in need – people like Cedric Jones,
who spent more than 140 days at Columbia St. Mary’s Regional Burn
“I remember seeing this funnel of fire coming at me,” says Cedric Jones of the explosion that ripped through his second-story apartment on the evening of June 3, 2012. “This big circle of fire and I just froze.”
Somehow, Cedric was able to walk out to the front lawn, where he collapsed onto his knees. After that, he doesn’t remember much.
The 56-year-old was rushed to Columbia St. Mary’s Emergency Department and then transferred to the Regional Burn Center, where he spent the next 60 days in a chemically induced coma.
Cedric suffered full and partial burns over 50 percent of his body – he also lost the fingers on his right hand. When he first arrived at the Emergency Department, doctors didn’t think he was going to make it. And when Cedric finally woke up in early August, he didn’t want to make it.
“I woke up not wanting to live. I was in a lot of pain and I gave up on everything,” he says. “But the people at Columbia St. Mary’s Burn Unit were so kind they gave me the will to push through. They treated me with so much respect and were so gentle – everyone from my therapists Randy, Sara and Eileen down to the cleaning women Loretta. They understood what I was going through and they gave me the reason to fight. They’re why I’m here today.”
After 144 days in the hospital the physical scars were healing, but the psychological ones were still raw. “For a long time I couldn’t even look at myself in the mirror,” Cedric says.
Weekly burn survivor support groups at Columbia St. Mary’s helped a lot. But it was a trip to World Burn Congress in October 2013 that changed everything for Cedric.
2014 Burn Center Golf Invitational
Monday, August 25
Grand Geneva Resort & Spa
7036 Grand Geneva Way, Lake Geneva
World Burn Congress is an annual conference that brings together hundreds of burn survivors, their families, caregivers, firefighters and other burn care professionals from all over the world. It’s an invaluable opportunity for people to meet, share stories and provide support for one another.
(A portion of the money raised at the Burn Center Golf Invitational
every year goes toward paying for burn survivors like Cedric to attend
World Burn Congress.)
“I listened to people who had been through it longer than I had and it taught me a lot about myself and about my burns and how to accept it,” Cedric says. “Everyone made you feel like you were somebody. They knew what you’re going through and helped you get through it. Because of them I can look in the mirror today.”
Now, nearly two years removed from the accident, Cedric is doing well. He volunteers daily at his church and while he’s still recovering and re-learning how to perform some daily functions, his outlook is positive.
“It’s important that people know that being a burn survivor doesn’t mean you have to give up,” he says. “There are people out there who care about you and are willing to help you as long as you’re willing to help yourself.”
Since 1989, the Burn Center Golf Invitational has been supporting Columbia St. Mary's Regional Burn Center, the Wisconsin Alliance for Fire Safety’s Summer Camp for Burn Injured Youth and other burn-injury prevention and education programs. That’s 26 years of raising money, building awareness and providing education – 26 years of giving burn survivors hope.
As the only dedicated burn unit in the area, Columbia St. Mary’s Regional Burn Center has been an invaluable resource for burn patients throughout Wisconsin, upper Michigan and northern Illinois for more than 50 years. Every year, this state-of-the-art unit treats around 200 patients – patients just like Cedric.
If you’d like to join us in giving survivors such as Cedric hope, please click HERE and register for the 2014 Burn Center Golf Invitational.
Golfers will tee off on Monday, August 25 at the Grand Geneva Resort & Spa for the 2014 Burn Center Golf Invitational. We hope that you will join us as a sponsor of this important event.
For more information, please click HERE.