The Profound Connection Between Poverty and Burn Injuries
Published on Yahoo! Lifestyle
Late one night in December of 2000, I found myself driving home from another long day of volunteering on the burn unit. It wasn’t much different from any other day; I’d been volunteering for nearly three years and it had become a second home to me. I’d spent time in several patients’ rooms and in the waiting rooms with their families, offering emotional care and an ear to listen. I was quite accustomed to the sights, sounds and smells that exist on the burn unit. After all, I myself had spent much of my childhood on many a burn unit.
I also spent a good deal of time with the case workers and staff offering my assistance — not just my emotional assistance, but also financial assistance. That included exchanging ideas for ongoing patient care and making one phone call after another to rehabilitation facilities in a desperate attempt to find scholarship beds for those soon leaving the burn unit or negotiating with compression garment companies on the extremely high cost of their wound garments for our patients.
As with most days, I received more nays than yays, and I knew I would need to write more grants, host more fundraisers, and dig into my own pocket to help these patients return their lives to some form of dignity and normalcy. It occurred to me that it was a constant battle to find the necessary medical and counseling support these injured souls so badly needed. It was also a reminder that many had much in common: poverty.
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