Back in May 1998 I needed to pull the car over and take a nap. At that
time I always needed to smoke a cigarette before I went to sleep. So I read the bible and smoked a cigarette. The next think
I woke up to was my legs were on fire and the fire was spreading all around the car. I opened up the window and then opened
up the door. I got out of the car to see that my pants and legs were on fire. Immediately I went back in the car in order to
pull out a gallon jug of water that I had in the front seat. As I went in the car I suffered 1st and 2nd degree burns to my
face, neck and hand. I opened up the bottle of water and poured the water up and down my legs. The water put out the fire on my
legs. At that point I looked in the car and realized that the fire was spreading extremely fast and I needed to get away from the
car. I walked away from the car and sat down. I must say that I was not only scared for my legs, I knew my car was going to burn
down and I was going to loose the car and everything inside of it. I prayed to God and thanked God for allowing me to get out of
the car and to be alive. At that point I looked at the car and watched the windows of the car explode out ward. I looked up to the
sky and thanked God for allowing me to get out of the car. I began to look around to see if anyone was in the parking lot. I saw a
truck pulling up, a young man getting out of the car and beginning to walk over to me. Another young man arrived and they helped me
get up and walk over to the back of the truck. I sat down and waited for the paramedics. When the paramedics arrived I was asked to
stand up and we all found out that the burns were a lot worse and my legs were unable to hold my body up. I was rushed to the
hospital. I was in and out of hospitals and nursing homes for almost one year.
During my recovery I had surgeries, infections, suffered emotionally, had several
heart attaches and strokes. For almost 2 ½ years I was unable to walk. Ten months into my recovery, I was hit by a car while on an
electric wheelchair on the side walk. I suffered extensive injuries. The only good think that came about from this injury was that the
insurance finally paid for the medical treatment and medical supplies needed for me to walk again.
In 1999 I attended the first World Burn Congress (WBC). At that time I was unable
to walk. I would not let that stop me. With the help of Delta Airlines, I was wheeled into the airplane and lifted into the chair.
When we arrived they took me off of the airplane, brought over my wheelchair so I could get around. The firefighters lifted me into
their car and made sure my wheelchair arrived at the airport when I did. When I got into the hotel the first person to come up to me was
another burn survivor. That individual was Alan Breslau. Alan started the World Burn Congress. He is a great individual. With the help of
Alan and his loving wife, I began getting around, did not feel alone and began to realize that the burn survivor community is a place for
Then in 2001 with the help of several other burn survivors and family members, I founded Burn Survivors Throughout The
World, Inc. (BSTTW). BSTTW began with a board of directors, several volunteers
and an internet site. Since then we have grown to over one hundred volunteers, one of the top internet sites, three offices in the USA,
one office in Mexico, one office in Viet Nam, work being done in twenty different countries and fire safety educational materials in
twelve different languages.
BSTTW offers support weekends to burn survivors and family members. The support weekends allows us to get together, make friends, get
and give support, gather information and just enjoy life.
Support After The Healing Weekend
Both BSTTW offers a support team that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The BSTTW Support
Team can speak with you by telephone, on the internet and in many areas of the world, we can meet with you face to face 24/7. BSTTW can be contacted by telephone at 866-712-6164 or on the internet at
BSTTW Healing Weekend E-Form.
If you are interested in learning more about the BSTTW Healing Weekend you can fill out the BSTTW Healing Weekend E-Form or contact BSTTW at 936-647-2256 or
toll free at 866-712-6164.
How Can I Find Out More
BSTTW will continue to update the information on our internet site, information will be in the
BSTTW Community News and BSTTW Teen News and you can join the BSTTW Healing Weekend