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July 15, 2011

West Hills, CA

Grossman Burn Center at West Hills Hospital LogoAfter 11 months in the Grossman Burn Center at West Hills Hospital, 19-year-old Derek Thomas is heading home to San Diego. A press conference featuring Derek, Dr. Peter Grossman and Beverly Gilmore, President and CEO of West Hills Hospital and Medical Center, will be held on July 19, 2011 at 10 am.

In August 2010, Derek suffered burns to 85% of his body after the car he was a passenger in crashed headfirst into a California Baptist University athletic van and burst into flames. The collision resulted in 12 injuries and three fatalities. Derek was one of two severely burned survivors and was flown to Grossman Medical Center at West Hills Hospital. Over the past year, Derek has undergone 33 skin graft surgeries and multiple procedures. Grossman Burn Centers’ specialized surgeons, nurses, and hyperbaric technicians as well as West Hills Hospitals’ pulmonologists, psychologists, ophthalmologists, nephrologists, and a team of hospital departments and services have all contributed to his recovery. The entire team at West Hills Hospital will join Derek’s family to cheer his recovery.

Dr. Peter Grossman commented, "Derek’s recovery is nothing short of heroic. Make no mistake, his indomitable spirit and will to heal, and the incredible support of his many friends and family played a key role in this outcome. Our entire team of burn care specialists have been privileged to be part of this wonderful story."

Contact: Cathy Butter, Communications Director
818-676-4736; cathy.butter@hcahealthcare.com

Founded in 1969, the Grossman Burn Center (GBC) is the largest plastic surgery-based burn practice in the western United States, providing acute and reconstructive burn care, rehabilitation, and post-treatment emotional and psychological support. Headquartered in Los Angeles, the GBC has three additional centers in California and Louisiana and is in the midst of a national expansion. In early 2010, the GBC moved its headquarters to a new state of the art surgical facility at West Hills Hospital and Medical Center in West Hills, CA.

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