Desiree Meyer

In 2005, Desiree Meyer was on vacation in Turkey with her husband and two children when they were involved in a minor car accident.

As they waited on the side of the road, a tanker truck crashed, spewing concentrated hydrochloric acid. Some of the chemical landed on Desiree, quickly disintegrated her clothes and caused severe burns to 35 percent of her body on her back, back of her legs, and arms.

Desiree spent two weeks in a Turkish hospital, where she had her first set of skin grafts. She was then flown to Ryder Trauma Center where she spent two and a half months and had four additional debridement and grafting surgeries.

“I have fond memories of Ryder Trauma and the medical staff,” Desiree said. “Everyone was so great to me. They made me feel like I was not alone.”

Desiree keeps in touch with some of the nurses and is grateful for all they did for her.

She says the experience has made her stronger.

“I do not worry about the small stuff as much anymore,” Desiree said. “I do savor little enjoyments in life more than I used to do. I recognize that it does not take the all-amazing wonderful thing to make a day a good day.”

Desiree is hoping her story of survival will inspire other burn victims and give them hope.

“This experience has definitely changed my perspective on life,” she said.

Desiree played an instrumental role in the creation of a support group at the UM/Jackson Burn Center. The group focuses on providing the emotional support burn survivors need their quest to adjusting to a new life.

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“Jackson treated me fantastically, especially their caring staff and brilliant doctors,” Woody said. “Jackson is a special place where countless people get excellent care, particularly those who need it the most.”

Steven Avila

“I’m grateful to Ryder Trauma Center,” he said. “They saved my life. The treatment was the best in the world.”

Desiree Meyer

“I have fond memories of Ryder and the medical staff,” Desiree said. “Everyone was so great to me. They made me feel like I was not alone.”

Tiffany Davis & Skyla Milton

“Doctors made sure I was all right before I got out of the hospital,” said Davis, “and I hope they just keep it up and save other people, like how they worked on me.”