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415 • 353 • 6650

Patient Story

Lisa Hands Burn Baby

Lisa Nash’s Story

For a split second on a sunny Friday morning in downtown San Francisco, Lisa Diaz Nash was the unluckiest woman in the world. As she walked across the intersection of Kearny and Post, an underground Pacific Gas & Electric transformer exploded. It blew a manhole cover 30 feet into the air, buckled concrete and caught the Internet Marketing Executive in a blast of superheated smoke and flame. Nash received third-degree burns on her hands, face, back and ankles. Suddenly, her luck changed again.

As Nash picked herself up from the street, she opened her eyes and remembered thinking, Thank God, I can still see. A bicycle messenger gingerly guided her to the curb. A San Francisco Fire Department ambulance crew, driving nearby after just completing a run, heard the explosion and sped to the scene.

I think I need to go the hospital . . . Nash said, and was quickly whisked up Pine Street to Saint Francis Memorial Hospital, the only hospital in the Bay Area with a specialized burn unit. She was wheeled through the Emergency Department door at 9:06 am, five minutes after the blast. Doctors slipped her into a drug-induced coma and battled to save her.

Two-and-a-half weeks later, Nash woke up and her marathon recovery began. A team of Saint Francis Surgeons performed five major surgeries on Nash. She was burned over 40 percent of her body. Her burned skin was first replaced with high-tech materials made of collagen, which served as a foundation for the skin harvested from healthy parts of her body and grafted about two weeks after the injury. Then the long and painful process of restoring mobility began. Nash learned how to walk again with the greatest challenge of restoring full mobility to her hands.

Nash credits her good health today and recovery to the doctors and staff of the Bothin Burn Center (who not only cared for her, but the entire family throughout her healing process) and to her husband and daughters for their love and constant presence at her bedside.

Lisa Nash’s story is literally one of hundreds that have been shared over the past 42-year history of the Bothin Burn Center at Saint Francis Memorial Hospital.

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