Burn Awareness Week: The gift of tissue donation gives australian athlete a second chance at life

National Burn Awareness Week is observed annually the first full week in February, and it is designed to provide an opportunity for burn and fire safety educators to unite in sharing a common burn awareness and prevention message in their community.

More than 450,000 burn injuries requiring medical treatment occur in the United States every year. Even though it is one of the leading causes of accidental death and injury nationwide, more than 95 percent of burn victims survive thanks to continuous medical advancements in burn treatment, including skin grafts from tissue donors.

As the largest organ in the body, the skin regulates your body, and protects the internal organs from injury and infection. However, when this physical barrier is burned or damaged, dangerous bacteria have direct access to the inside of your body and can cause infection that may be fatal if not treated properly. For burn patients, a skin graft serves as a protective bandage which helps prevent infection, promote healing, and alleviate pain.

One truly impactful story that highlights the power of skin transplantation, is that of fitness enthusiast, mining engineer, and motivational speaker, Turia Pitt.

Turia was competing in an ultramarathon in Australia when she became trapped in a brush fire that burned 64 percent of her body. Thanks to the gift of tissue donation from the United States, including grafts from LifeCenter Northwest donors, Turia’s life was saved. After two months in a coma, roughly 200 operations, and 864 days in the hospital, she was able to return to doing what she loves. Today, she is back running competitively and recently welcomed her first child.

“Without the skin that was donated, I would not be here today. That skin literally saved my life. It was due to the generosity and grace of sixteen Americans that I am here today!”

To learn more about Turia and her astonishing  accomplishments visit www.turiapitt.com