BAKERSFIELD, CA - Next Wednesday, KGET is teaming up with the Grossman Burn Center at San Joaquin Community Hospital, for a hamburger barbecue to help raise money for the treatment of young burn victims.
The Grossman Burn Center sees more than 350 patients a year and nearly half are children. Three years ago, a local 12-year-old, Matthew Lotts, was one of them after burning his leg in a fire.
"Yeah, I was scared," said Lotts.
On July 3, 2010, Lotts and a friend were playing "camp" in the backyard. To make their fire bigger, they added gasoline and some of it splashed on Lott's left leg.
"I never imagined and at first, I thought, his father and I both thought, this is the worst thing that could ever happen," said Shannah Lotts, Matthew's mother.
His burns were third degree. Matthew spent 14 days in the Grossman Burn Unit at San Joaquin Community Hospital. He underwent two skin graft surgeries while staff and volunteers tried to distract him from the pain.
"Good, they took care of me," said Matthew of the staff and volunteers.
After those two weeks, he began outpatient treatment. Part of that was wearing a compression garment over his burn. They are custom fit, designed to smooth the skin and prevent scarring. However, they are often not covered by insurance companies, and that's where your donations to the Grossman Burn Center go to work.
"They also help with function and range of motion, so it's very important all of the patients receive all of the tools needed for a good successful recovery," said Darci Combs, Program Coordinator for the Grossman Burn Center at San Joaquin Community Hospital.
Lotts and his mother were featured in a commercial after his full recovery.
You can barely see the scar on his left leg, and rarely can you catch a glimpse. He's too busy playing sports and riding his bike, enjoying both of his healthy legs.
"I never thought I'd be able to do it again," said Matthew.
"Really, I can't say enough good about the staff and the Grossman Burn Center," said Shannah Lotts.
The BBQ fundraiser to raise money for the Grossman Burn Center at San Joaquin Community Hospital is Wednesday, 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. Every every dollar raised up to $50,000, will be matched by Chevron.