His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent met with patients who are enduring the long-term impact of serious burn injuries during a visit to Stoke Mandeville Hospital earlier this week.
The Duke, who was invited in his capacity as patron of the Restore Burns and Wound Research charity, met children and adults who are recovering from burns, along with the staff supporting them through their treatment and rehabilitation.
Stoke Mandeville Hospital is home to a regional burns unit which ensures that patients suffering the effects of serious burns receive a package of care.
This involves reconstructive surgery, but also support from a team of occupational therapists, psychologists and physiotherapists.
The patients the Duke met included Slavica Mileva, a 30-year-old woman badly burned in a car accident last year, 20-year-old Monica Garcia Machuca, who last month was seriously injured after a laptop she had on her knee burst into flames and Chloe Higgs, a 15-year-old girl still receiving treatment for scars she endured from a kettle burn as a toddler.
Chloe, from Aylesbury, first met the Duke 12 years ago, during a previous visit he made to the hospital, and during the visit she showed him a press cutting she has kept from the day.
Chloe said: “I have been in and out of the hospital every few months since the accident when I was three years old.
“The staff, and especially my consultant Mr Tyler, have been amazing.
“I’ve known many of them for years now, and they almost feel like family!
“The Duke was very kind.
“He said he didn’t remember meeting me the first time, but seemed very pleased that I still had the paper cutting!”
Mike Tyler, consultant plastic surgeon at Bucks Healthcare NHS Trust, and also a director of clinical studies at Restore, led the tour of the hospital.
Mr Tyler said: “It is fantastic that the Duke has taken time to visit us once again at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.
“His commitment helps us to highlight the journey that our patients undertake, and the burden that scarring from burns places upon them for the rest of their lives.
“The Duke’s work in raising awareness about the research that Restore is undergoing to combat this was much appreciated by the researchers here, and we therefore very much hope by the patients of tomorrow.”
After the tour of the hospital, the Duke was given the opportunity to learn about the upcoming plans for Restore; the charity founded in 1991 to fund research on burns and reconstructive surgery.
The charity has close links with the trust and is currently funding research into advancing burn and scar treatment in the burns unit at Stoke Mandeville.
Vivien Morgan, chief executive of Restore said: “Restore is delighted that our patron, His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent, visited us.
“It gives us a chance to update him on the work we are funding into advancing burn and scar treatment in the burns unit under Mr Tyler.
“This is valuable work as every year some 250,000 people in the UK suffer a burn and we want to be able to find the best way of helping them.”