On May 3, Dallas firefighter Jeff Patterson was seriously injured in a fire and sustained third-degree burns on 45 percent of his body. He's had several skin graft surgeries and will receive many more.
Patterson's wide circle of friends and firefighter comrades have put on a number of fundraisers to help him and his wife, Tina Hernandez, manage the cost of his battle to wellness. Now there's one more, courtesy of Angry Dog owner Todd Dickerson.
Through November 29, 100 percent of the proceeds from Angry Dog's soft drink sales will be applied to Patterson's wellness fund. In addition, the Deep Ellum restaurant is adding a line item to its menu enabling customers to make donations in the amount of their choosing.
Dickerson says that he would see Patterson regularly because their kids go to the same school.
"He was always there teaching fire safety," Dickerson says. "If you needed something he was there to help. When I realized how horrible the firefighters' insurance was, I felt like I had to do something.
"This is a guy rushing into a house trying to save a life. A roof collapsed, and he'll be paying the price for that for the rest of his life."
Dickerson and his wife lost a baby daughter to a fetal abnormality in 2010, so he knows what it's like to face medical bills.
"We can't afford to do things for every public servant that is injured on the job," Dickerson says. "We're a small business. It'll be a drop in the bucket. We're just trying to help out someone we know."
Other ways to donate to Patterson include the following:
- Sending a check to the Friends of Dallas Fire Rescue Department, 10731 Rockwall Rd., Dallas, TX 75238-1219. Memo: Jeff or Tina Patterson Fund.
- Making a deposit to Bank of America c/o Jeff Patterson or Tina Hernandez, account # 488048747086, routing # 111000025.
- Donating via PayPal to the email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Donating through the Go Fund Me website at Until He Goes Home.