Sons of the Flag Burn Survivor Assistance Programs
Sons of the Flag operates several programs to help military and first-responder burn survivors and their families.
Well paying medical Fellowships at respected institutions that offer extended post-surgical training in trauma surgery and surgical critical care as well as opportunities to conduct basic and clinical research are critically needed. Fellowships play a vital role in helping medical institutions educate the next generation of physicians, researchers, and health care professionals while also enhancing the Medical Center’s ability to recruit some of the most brilliant minds in medicine. The need for more burn specialists is great, and one of the ways to increase those numbers is to offer fellowships that can spark the interest of young physicians and medical students, thereby creating opportunities to make advances in understanding the mechanisms of burn responses and discover new avenues of treatment.
DIRECT SURVIVOR AND FAMILY SUPPORT
As with any injury that requires a lengthy stay, the financial impact on a family can be devastating. No parent wants to leave a child alone for days, weeks or months, but very few families can afford to abandon a job for extended periods of time. Parking alone can be financially draining. And because Burn Units are not found in every hospital and typically cover a large geographic radius, many families must travel long distances and rent hotel rooms for extended periods, eating out every meal, while the expenses pile up. We provide support for family members including reimbursement for hotels, rental cars, parking and meals while their loved one is receiving treatment in the Burn Center. Our desire is to have funds available to meet whatever the request might be. We also host an application on our web site for Direct Survivor Support. Burn Survivors can apply for assistance with any number of needs, including but not limited to rent assistance, utility assistance, travel costs, assistance with special medication needs not covered by insurance, etc.
“Go Bags” are provided to families who arrive at the hospital, because a friend or loved one is being treated in the Burn Unit. Like many emergency situations, families arrive at the ER with only the clothes on their back, ill prepared for a long wait. For example, Parkland Hospital’s Burn Center serves the injured within a 250 mile radius, and many family members spend several days in the waiting room, hoping their loved one will survive, not willing to leave to drive home to collect a few essential items.
Social Workers and Nurses complied a list of items that would be most helpful to family members within the first 24-48 hours of excruciating waiting. Contents include:
- Water Bottles
- Pre-packaged snacks
- Travel-size toiletries
- A pad of paper and pens
- A new blanket
- A Universal phone charging cord
Sons of the Flag makes every effort to collect as many of the above items as possible via community supply drives, however some items must be purchased new, such as the bags, blankets, and charging cords. Further, when a request is made for Go Bags, if any of the above items have not been collected via a supply drive, they must be purchased to complete the Go Bag before delivery.
MISSION: RECONSTRUCT FREEDOM
Acute burn care for burned military personnel and civilian first responders is excellent in the U.S. and considered the best in the world. However, once survival from burn injuries is achieved, follow-up care and reconstruction for complete function and acceptable cosmetic results is badly lacking. There are not a plethora of quality burn reconstructive specialists available and fewer and fewer are being adequately trained. Sons of the Flag has recruited a team of outstanding reconstructive surgeons with
extensive resumes in burn reconstruction. Two are Past Presidents of the American Burn Association, one an internationally recognized microvascular surgeon, and three others with both clinical and administrative expertise. The locus for the team will be Tampa, FL and the University of South Florida and it associated Bay Pines VA Hospital. Both the VA Hospital Director and the Dean of the Medical School are very supportive of the program. Protocols are approved and in place. Essentially, Sons of the Flag will identify the surviving burned veteran or first responder in need of reconstruction. Skype will be used to allow the reconstructive surgeons to evaluate and record reconstructive needs and plan the procedures required to improve the patient. The patient will be transported to Tampa, undergo the necessary procedures, and receive mental support as necessary. Once the care is completed, the survivor will join a registry so future needs will be recognized and addressed.
Join the Task Force
Sons of the Flag invites you to positively impact the lives of burn survivors across the nation.
You Can Help Burn Survivors
Your donation supports our efforts to improve the lives of military service members and first responders who have survived burn injuries.
Sons of the Flag
is a registered non-profit