Annual Holiday Tradition Continues at Burn Center
For the last decade, the Texas Burn Survivor Society has been providing the staff at the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research Burn Center a holiday meal during the month of December.
"It provides us a way of saying thank you to the Burn Center staff for the loving and compassionate care they provide to burn patients on a daily basis," said Sue Dodson, executive director of the TBSS.
The founders of the TBSS, David and Jane Jayne, began the tradition. The Jaynes know personally of the care provided at the Burn Center. In 1959, David Jayne was critically burned in an Army helicopter crash and spent three years at the Burn Center where he underwent burn care, reconstruction surgery and rehabilitation.
According to the TBSS website, "his wife, Jane, experienced firsthand the devastating impacts which burn injury and its treatment has upon the family of the patientâ?¦"
With the goal of helping other patients and families experiencing the same hardships that they endured at the Burn Center, the Jaynes established the TBSS in 1962.
"The Jaynes volunteered faithfully at the Burn Center for well over 30 years," said Dodson.
With his wife by his side, David Jayne fully recovered and had successful careers in the Army where he retired as a lieutenant colonel and then at a large law firm in San Antonio after he earned a law degree.
Throughout this time, the Jaynes continued building the TBSS to offer burn survivors and their families what it does today: scholarships, support groups, summer camp for young burn survivors and the annual luncheon at the Burn Center where they have personally served the staff for years. But this year there was a notable difference at the luncheon. The Jaynes were not able to attend.
"About three years ago they had to retire from volunteering as their health would no longer permit it," Dodson said. "They still had been able to come for the luncheon, until this year."
Now in his mid-80s, David Jayne is no longer able to attend the tradition that he started at the Burn Center, but the spirit of why he started this annual luncheon lives on through the staff and volunteers from the TBSS.
"We were sorry that the Jaynes couldn't attend the luncheon," said Maj. Thomas Rountree, Burn Center executive officer. "However, we knew that they were there in spirit."
"It was very difficult not to have them here, but they were happy that we were continuing the tradition," said Dodson. "It would seem disrespectful to them to discontinue something that means so much to them, simply because they are no longer able to attend physically."
Staff Sgt. Floretta Drummond, non-commissioned officer in charge of the Burn Intensive Care Unit said the entire Burn Center staff appreciates the annual meal provided by the TBSS.
"It shows their [TBSS] gratitude for the staff's expertise and dedication to their healing, as well as building the staff's morale," said Drummond.
"Their visits along with all of the other great volunteers for the TBSS continually reinforce the reason the Burn Center staff come to work every day," Rountree said.
"They have set a high standard," added Dodson. "And those of us who love the organization they began are determined to continue the work to honor them and help the burn community they love."