“He’s the clown of our family. He keeps people laughing,” says Shirley. “He would joke with the doctors and staff even when rehab was hard and hurt.” Recently, back in Missouri, Richie was being fitted for a leg brace to stabilize a leg that still needs to heal from the accident. “He asked the doctor for a tree trimmer brace instead of a regular one,” says Shirley. “He was a tree trimmer before and thought it would be funny to ask.” Amidst the laughter, Shirley says that Richie knows how much has been done for him by both the medical team and his family and how much he went through. He’s still going through the process of healing and adapting to life now. During the lifesaving process at Regional One, nine of Richie’s fingers and thumbs and one of his legs had to be amputated. He has a prosthetic, but he can’t yet walk on the other foot. He intends to walk again. He intends to live a very full life. “I’m so proud of him,” says Shirley. “He gets out there and does everything he wants to do. He’s doing just great.” How You’ve Helped Dr. Ram Velamuri was a key member of Richie’s medical team. For Dr. Velamuri, teamwork among several different medical specialists was the key to caring for Richie—as well as all patients in the Regional One Firefighters Burn Center. “The team approach with our plastic surgeons, critical care doctors, nurses and our rehab, nutrition, and pharmacy teams made this modern-day miracle possible,” says Dr. Velamuri. Those who donate to the Did You Know? The Firefighters Burn Center at Regional One Health is the only full-service burn center of its kind within a 150-mile radius of Memphis. The Burn Center has earned verification from the American Burn Association (ABA) and the American College of Surgeons (ACS), making it the only burn center in Tennessee to earn this distinctive honor. Firefighters Burn Center help fund advanced training and specialized equipment that have created Regional One’s worldclass burn center. In Richie’s case, the medical team worked together to use a care technique that is unique to just a few burn centers in the country—with Regional One being one of them. This technique is a fluid-removal therapy that when started early, reduces toxicity as the body fights to recover and helps increase the odds of survival. Thank you for helping make these advancements available to patients like Richie! DONATE.REGIONALONEHEALTHFOUNDATION.ORG 18

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