Cedric Jones, Columbia St. Mary’s Regional Burn Center

    In 2012, Cedric Jones suffered severe burns on more than half of his body during a fire in his apartment building.

    Today, Jones is able to look back and offer a story of survival and hope for other burn injury patients.

    Jones has worked tirelessly as an advocate and support volunteer at Columbia St. Mary’s Regional Burn Center, a place where he was a patient just two years ago.

    “I wanted to give back to the people who helped me,” he said. “I just try to sit down with people and talk with them as much as they need. I answer any questions they have about what it’s going to be like, and how life is outside the burn center as a survivor.”

    After his accident, Jones spent 60 days in an induced coma. He had severe burns on his arms, thighs, back and face, and he lost the fingers on his right hand.

    “Cedric is a great source of hope, and a motivating force for our other burn center patients,” said Melissa Kersten, nurse practitioner at Columbia St. Mary’s Regional Burn Center. “As a nurse, I can offer comfort and factual information, but when they can see the outcome, see Cedric’s passion for the work he does and the life he lives, it’s so much more motivating for them.”

    Jones started out volunteering at the center’s monthly burn support group, but recently completed training in the center’s Survivors Offering Assistance in Recovery program, a national organization that allows him to work one-on-one with patients.

    “I want to make sure people know they do have a chance, that life isn’t over because we got burned,” he said.  
    The relationships he has formed through the center have been mutually beneficial, helping him through his continued recovery as well.

    “I don’t want to see a person suffer,” he said. “I want them to know it’s going to change and it’s going to get better. We all get down and depressed at times, but this is what builds me back up.”

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