Jason Pierre-Paul donates $20,000 to New York burn center (vid)
Understanding all too well the trauma endured by severe burn victims — not only from his own experience but also what he witnessed when he was hospitalized following his horrific Fourth of July fireworks injury that left him with a severely damaged hand — Jason Pierre-Paul and CareOne Management on Wednesday donated $20,000 to the Burn Center at New York Presbyterian Hospital’s Weill Cornell Medical Center.
Acknowledging his own accident, Pierre-Paul, who managed to play in eight games for the New York Giants last season despite his injuries, said he has tried to move on from what happened last summer.
“The past is the past,” he said, via NJ.com. “But every day, someone is struggling through something, trying to survive. And this is an awesome place.”
But Pierre-Paul — who recently underwent another surgical procedure — said he’ll never forget how he felt in the immediate aftermath of the accident, long before the protracted and sometimes frustrating saga ensued as he attempted to return to football.
“As I was sitting in the hospital on July 5, there were a lot of burn [victims] in there. And I was one of them,” he said. “And just walking through the hospital, I saw a lot of burn people. People that lost hands, people that lost legs, due to fireworks incidents or whatever. And it just made me think, every time I look at my hand, it just made me think about the burn center.”
The defensive end declined to speak to the media after his short press conference. He is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next week and both he and the Giants have expressed mutual interest in his possible return, as the team admitted it was “pleasantly surprised” with how well he played despite losing his right index finger and parts of two others in the terrible accident.
But Wednesday wasn’t about his NFL future. Instead, it was another gesture by Pierre-Paul to reach out to those who are overcoming similar injuries and obstacles, regardless of how they happened to occur.