Firefighter Joe Yeakley and his crew answered the call for a house fire. While battling the blaze, the roof collapsed and he was trapped for three full minutes before other firefighters were able to pull him out.
When Joe woke up many months later he was surprised to learn how long he had been hospitalized and even more surprised by the care he and his loved ones had received from the Parkland Burn Center staff.
While Joe was still unconscious, Parkland’s nurses surprised his wife, Denise, with a 30th wedding anniversary celebration, complete with balloons.
“That’s stuff you don’t learn in nursing school,” said Joe. “At Parkland, they do more than just care for your medical needs. They have compassion for the patient, and for the patient’s family. Having a facility like Parkland available right here is a blessing for us.”
Joe suffered significant injuries to his hands and face but he was determined to not only to survive and return to the active life he once lived. Today, Joe is back at work at the Lindale fire department as a chaplain and financial officer. He gives credit for his recovery to the top-notch treatment he received at Parkland.
“I don’t know how they do their job,” explained Joe. “They see the worst of the worst but they make patients feel loved and cared for."
Parkland’s Burn Center is recognized the world over for providing the latest in research, technology and treatment for burn-related injuries. It is equally as well known for its compassionate care – delivered regardless of a patient’s ability to pay.
“You have to take the bumps that come along in the road,” he said. “I just hope people can see me and see that there is hope. It’s true that my life will never be the same. But it is a very, very good life.”
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