The $ 2 million grant from the Burn Fund will make a difference for all time. at HSC



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It's a $ 2 million gift that every hope involved will continue to give burned patients a better chance to resume their normal lives.

The proceeds from the donation to the Fire Science Foundation's Center for Health Sciences Foundation, released Wednesday in Winnipeg, will fund dedicated and innovative research on the use of stem cells to reduce the number of painful surgeries and accelerate scarring in burn patients.

HSC's new research lab, with a dedicated researcher and specialized equipment, may be the first of its kind in Canada to operate on an ongoing basis, when it opens sometime in late 2019 or early 2020, officials said.

"This gift is transformational," said Jonathon Lyon, president and CEO of the foundation. "The Burn Fund has long been a supporter of the hospital and foundation. Manitoba firefighters are deeply concerned about the well-being of burn survivors and their contributions have changed people's lives.

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It's a $ 2 million gift that every hope involved will continue to give burned patients a better chance to resume their normal lives.

The proceeds from the donation to the Fire Science Foundation's Center for Health Sciences Foundation, released Wednesday in Winnipeg, will fund dedicated and innovative research on the use of stem cells to reduce the number of painful surgeries and accelerate scarring in burn patients.

HSC's new research lab, with a dedicated researcher and specialized equipment, may be the first of its kind in Canada to operate on an ongoing basis, when it opens sometime in late 2019 or early 2020, officials said.

"This gift is transformational," said Jonathon Lyon, president and CEO of the foundation. "The Burn Fund has long been a supporter of the hospital and foundation. Manitoba firefighters are deeply concerned about the well-being of burn survivors and their contributions have changed people's lives.

"With this gift, the Burning Fund will make a difference for all time."

Given Wednesday's announcement, burn survivor John Hart could only imagine what it might be, and what such breakthroughs might have meant to him.

John Hart is a burn survivor who lost both his right arm and leg and suffered third degree burns in 40% of his body.

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

John Hart is a burn survivor who lost both his right arm and leg and suffered third degree burns in 40% of his body.

"This research will help the survivors," said the 61-year-old man who suffered third-degree burns in 40 percent of his body in a work-related accident in a garden in northern Manitoba 24 years ago.

A shock of electricity of about 138,000 volts ran through his right hand and his body, coming out of his right foot and burning his clothes, he reminded her. His right arm from the elbow down and right leg from the knee down were amputated to save his life.

He spent three months enduring painful sunbathing and dozens of surgeries, but "he walks very well … From the bottom of my heart, I'm really grateful," Hart said.

"If this treatment could have worked for me, maybe my members would be a bit different now."

Wednesday's event was also filled with firefighters, active and retired, who spent years raising money for the Burn Fund and distributing donations to hospitals and survivors in Manitoba.

Martin Johnson, president of the Firefighter's Burning Fund.

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Martin Johnson, president of the Firefighter's Burning Fund.

"We have raised and distributed many millions of dollars over the last 40 years … but we also recognize that it is important to keep up with changing practices for burn treatment," said fund chairman Martin Johnson. "I think we're having an impact and that's good."

About 100 patients are admitted to the HSC burn unit each year, and dozens of others are treated on an outpatient basis.

The new laboratory will seek to design stem cells from the adipose cells of burn patients and integrate them into skin grafts to be implanted surgically.

"We hope any patient with a significant burn … will have a better outcome if we incorporate the research we'll get from this research lab," said Dr. Edward Buchel, director of surgery and section chief of the HSC. of plastic surgery.

"No one else is doing it continuously now … Not in Canada."

On a financial front, the HSC Foundation intends to use donation income as seed money to attract matching donations. It is a way out, since research funding traditionally relies on external funding agencies that release money on an annual or multi-year basis, but not permanently.

With this stability, the hospital will hire a dedicated researcher to extract and perfect the technique, along with the equipment and materials to take it from the lab bench to the operating table without interruption.

Research advances in firing treatments have increased the chances of survival to almost 100% in patients with third degree burns to 50% of their bodies over the last half century, but stem cell surgery offers a new border, say the defenders. .

"We can keep people alive, we can get them out of the hospital, but the question is how disfigured they will be and to what extent they can regain their normal function," Buchel said.

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Alexandra Paul

Alexandra Paul
news reporter

Alexandra is a veteran journalist who has been a member of the Winnipeg Free Press since 1987. She has held the medical beat for nearly 17 years and now specializes in coverage of indigenous issues. She is among the newspaper's most versatile journalists.

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