BAKERSFIELD, CA - You can help kids heal on Wednesday, July 3rd. KGET is teaming up with the Grossman Burn Center at San Joaquin Community Hospital for a barbecue fundraiser to help pay for treatments insurance won't cover, for the youngest burn survivors.
Most burns leave behind scars. They can be big, noticeable, and grow up with the child if they are not treated properly. That's the treatment the Grossman Burn Center needs your help to continue to provide.
Doctors at the Grossman Burn Center say nearly half of their patients are kids. The majority are under age five.
"You could come into the burn unit and a toddler could come running out to the nurse's station and they'll be looking for their nurse, or they'll be looking for their friends," said Karen Garner, Director of Critical Care at the Grossman Burn Center at San Joaquin.
Doctors try to keep the mental and physical healing process going for their youngest patients even after they are released. Burn patients often need compression garments or facial shields.
Lisa Spraker with the Bakersfield Prosthetic and Orthotics Center says each garment is custom fit. They're constructed with a silicone-based lining to cover the burn area, keeping it moist and the skin soft, minimizes scarring. The problem is, Spraker says, many insurance polices won't cover them.
"They are not understanding the depth of how important these are for the patient in their needs. So now, the patient is left with this humongous bill," said Spraker.
But thanks to community donations, that bill will be covered and marks of a painful memory can fade.
"Oh I love my job. I really do. I see a lot of little babies in here, you know, but I wouldn't do it if I didn't love it," said Spraker.
"You never know," said Kevin Burton, President of the San Joaquin Community Hospital Foundation. "We had one little burn survivor, we spent about $23,000 on him, and so, if we get three or four of those a year, it takes a lot of the money from that fund. But, that is what it is there for."
"That's what Chevron Fund has given to our community, is the ability for people to recover from their burn injuries and have very minimal scarring and go on to live normal productive lives. And, that's huge and that all takes place locally," said Garner.
The barbecue fundraiser for the Grossman Burn Center at San Joaquin Community Hospital is July 3rd. It's from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the corner of 22nd and L Streets. Get a burger, chips, and a drink for $5.00. Every dollar raised up to $50,000, Chevron has agreed to match.