WEST HILLS (CBSLA.com) — Friends and former patients remembered the late Dr. Richard Grossman — the man who founded the important Grossman Burn Center in 1969 — as a literal life saver.
KCAL9’s Brittney Hopper spoke to people who fondly recalled the 81-year-old medical legend.
“The easy way in life would have to go asleep. But he would not let that happen,” said former firefighter Bill Jensen, choking back tears.
Grossman saved Jensen’s life after the 1996 Calabas-Malibu Fire. Seventy percent of Jensen’s body was burned. That type of injury, before the Burn Center came along, would have meant almost certain death.
Following his treatment at the Burn Center, Jensen also became good friends with the doctor. In fact, Jensen was with Dr. Grossman earlier on the day he passed away.
“He was a miracle man. In every sense of the word,” says Jensen.
The Center has received global recognition for its treatment of some of the most difficult and high-profile burn cases in the world.
Ten years ago, Dr. Grossman started an annual Family Camp for former patients. It was said today, that his greatest passion was the ongoing care of burn victims..
“It’s a devastating loss for anyone who knows him. Anyone who was touched by him. Which is hundreds of thousands of people,” said Karen Dodge.
She first met Dr. Grossman as a child when 30 percent of her body was burned. Dodge is now a board member at Children’s Burn Foundation which Dr. Grossman co-founded in 1984.
Both former patients and good friends say Dr. Grossman leaves behind an incredible legacy.
“He’ll never be replaced. As a doctor and a man,” said Jensen.
Grossman is survived by his wife, three sons and five grandchildren.