As an annual tradition each year at Christmas, the Black family—comprised of four sisters, two brothers, plus numerous other relatives, grandchildren and friends—choose one charity to which they make a contribution. This year, the family will give to the Johns Hopkins Burn Center to honor the excellent care provided to their mother.
At age 82, Melba Black was burned on 10 percent of her body, including her neck and chest, in a home accident in January. After enduring several months of surgeries, complications and rehabilitation, Melba returned home in April and is doing well. Pat, one of Melba’s daughters, was by her side almost every day, witnessing first hand the expertise and compassion of the Burn Center staff, including Stephen Milner, M.D., Chief, Division of Burns, The Johns Hopkins Burn Center.
“Dr. Milner is a saint. I have never seen a medical professional who shows that he cares like he does. If I could write him a blank check, I would. He and the other doctors saved my mother,” Pat says. “It takes a special human being to work on that unit. People don’t realize how much a family member goes through when a loved one is hurt and disfigured. The care staff give to the patients is excellent, but the care they give to family members also is amazing. In a way, we are all burn survivors.”
A portion of the family’s gift will be used to purchase equipment for the rehabilitation therapy room and fund educational programs for staff and family members. The other monies will be allocated to the Burn Center discretionary fund, where Dr. Milner can put the donation to use where the need is greatest. Pat also is in the process of starting a non-profit organization called Rest Assured that she hopes will be able to provide free housing for families of Burn Center patients while their loves ones are being cared for in the hospital.