Rock drummer visits burn center that saved his life

Rock drummer Travis Barker returned to Augusta and the burn center that saved his life Wednesday to show those who treated him his appreciation -- part of which came in the form of a donation.

“I’m here to say 'thank you’ to everyone who took care of me after the accident,” he said in a press release from the Joseph M. Still Burn Center at Doctors Hospital. “I was sort of unconscious the last time I was here, and I felt like I owed them a big 'thank you.’”

The Blink-182 drummer and disc jockey Adam Goldstein, better known as DJ AM, were the only survivors of a fiery runway crash Sept. 19, 2008, at Columbia Metropolitan Airport. Four people died -- Mr. Barker’s assistant, his bodyguard and two crew members.

During his visit, Mr. Barker confirmed he and Blink 182 plan to donate $100,000 to the burn centers that helped save his life last year, including the Joseph M. Still Burn Center. Mr. Barker said the donation came from the proceeds from Blink 182’s Sept. 19, 2009, show at Tempe Beach Park in Tempe, Az.

“I saw what it took to help people who have been burned,” Mr. Barker said. “I ended up playing on the anniversary of the crash and I wanted to make sure the proceeds from that show went to help the burn centers.”

Mr. Barker met with several patients during his visit, which came between tour stops for Blink 182 in Charlotte and Atlanta. Mr. Barker, who was burned on his hands and legs, showed how far his recovery has progressed, pointing out that several tattoos were still intact after the burns had healed.

Staff at the burn center said they appreciated Mr. Barker’s visit.

“This was a great opportunity for our staff and our patients to see someone who is truly a success story,” said Dr. R. Fred Mullins, who serves as Medical Director of the burn center and helped treat Mr. Barker’s wounds. “Travis was gracious with his time today, and his presence was a nice surprise and boost for everyone here.”

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