Dr. Christopher Lentz, Medical Director INTEGRIS Paul Silverstein Burn Center; Collen Elkins, Burn Survivor; Dr. Johnny Griggs, Medical Director INTEGRIS Baptist

The Paul Silverstein Burn Center at INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center opened in 1975, and since that time the facility has treated mostly adults. Oklahoma children have routinely been sent out of state to receive specialized burn care – until recently.
Working closely with the pediatric unit at INTEGRIS Baptist, the burn center started accepting some pediatric patients in late 2013. They started with small burns and have slowly begun to see children with a greater percent of burns.
Collen Elkins of Geronimo, Okla., is one of them. The 11-year-old was injured by gasoline in a bonfire accident. He received third and fourth degree burns over nearly 40 percent of his body including his torso and both upper and lower extremities. He spent two months in the hospital before going home earlier this year.
Tuesday 8/23, Elkins made a special trip back to the hospital to be the first pediatric patient to ring the Fireman’s Bell.
The Oklahoma State Firefighters Association loaned the burn center an actual fire bell from its museum to be used specifically for children. Upon discharge from the hospital, pediatric burn survivors will ring the bell to signify their personal victory and medical accomplishment. A similar bell in the burn unit is for adult use.
“We feel this is a fitting and symbolic way to applaud all burn survivors, regardless of their age, for their determination and hard work, and to recognize the courage and bravery it takes to overcome this type of injury,” says Christopher Lentz, M.D., medical director of the Paul Silverstein Burn Center.
The Elkins family hopes sharing their story will prevent other burn injuries. Members of the Paul Silverstein Burn Center, the INTEGRIS Baptist pediatric unit and the Oklahoma State Firefighters Association attended the event.