|Quilts donated to University of Utah burn center stacked in a living room before delivery to the medical center.|
For months the Women's Auxiliary of the Price City Fire Department has been working their fingers to the bone as they made 110 quilts to be donated to the University of Utah Burn Center. Each quilt needed to be made to exact specifications to meet the needs of the center. All the quilts made needed to be 45" wide and 54" long out of fabrics that would not catch on the gauze that these individuals with burns are wrapped in.
Each burn patient uses three quilts a day for the duration of the time they are at the hospital. Because of the nature of their injuries the quilts must be replaced each time their dressings are changed.
Rita Dunn spearheaded the local effort to assemble the quilts. With the help of her auxiliary, local LDS wards and many other willing volunteers they exceeded their goal of 100 quilts. On Aug. 4, she and her husband Kevin presented the quilts to the U of U Burn Center and were given a tour of the facility so they could see how the communities hard work will be used.
"What an amazing opportunity and privilege it was to deliver the quilts today." she said after they were back home. "We were taken on a tour of the burn center and saw some of the most heart wrenching patients imaginable. There were patients from three years old to 48 years old, all of which were covered with a blanket that had been donated by someone just like us. It took a special effort to control our own emotions as we walked through the center."
The University of Utah Burn Center in Salt Lake City is one of only 120 specialized burn-care facilities in North America and one of only 45 nationally recognized American Burn Association verified burn-care facilities. The U of U Burn Center has treated patients from all over the United States, but most of their patients come from Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Idaho, Oregon, and of course Utah.
The facility is equipped to care for 12 burn victims at a time. There are very few days in a year that they do not have every bed filled The facility has their own surgery center with three full time surgeons, one of which is on call at all times. They also have their own physical therapy center with a full staff of physical therapists that work with each patient on a daily basis, something that is very critical to the recovery process.
With all the unfamiliar sights and sounds of a critical care unit, the donated quilts the victims are given are like a "hug" from home. It helps them to feel a little less "sterile" and a little more love and friendship from those that are going to take care of them through what may seem like an eternity. About 80 percent of the burn victims are men, due to industrial or work related accidents. The summer months bring younger burn victims to the center because of camp fires and fireworks.
Dunn spoke of her experience as they turned over the quilts to the staff.
"As we presented the quilts to the staff they were overcome with sincere appreciation and told us that we had no idea the soothing, healing qualities that come from these quilts," she said. "The women's auxiliary at the Price City Fire Department would appreciate donations of cotton fabric or polar fleece to make more quilts for next year. We can also use monetary help to buy batting for the quilts."
Dunn finished up by saying how very much they appreciate all the donations of money, fabric, and hours spent quilting and tying the quilts that were presented to the center. She knows there are many unsung heroes in this story and she wants them all to remember how much appreciated they all are.
For those wanting to help with more quilts contact Rita Dunn @ 435-637-6150.