By: Soey Park for Body1
The Berns triplets first made headlines when they appeared on NBC’s The Today Show in May of 2009 to share their story and spread a message of hope for other scarred burn victims. After months of innovative laser treatment, the triplets were featured on the news again when they reappeared on the Today Show to showcase the results of their treatment. Emerging on camera as three beautiful young women, no longer self-consciously covering their damaged skin, Trae, Jordan and Chandra Berns, 22, are in effect, walking advertisements for the use of Lumenis’ Ultrapulse Fractional Ablative Laser as treatment for burn scars.
“Over the past few months, it’s pretty much a gradual improvement,” says Chandra, “our skin has gotten a lot smoother. Our scars have gotten a lot smoother.”
The Triplets' Story
Trapped in their burning Texas home as just 17 month-olds, identical triplets Trae, Jordan and Chandra Berns had managed to barely escape the fire that took their mother’s life, leaving them with scars covering about 30% of their bodies. After being released from the hospital, the triplets underwent an extensive series of painful surgeries and skin grafts, but were still left with burn scars covering their arms, legs, face, and chest.
Twenty years into living with third-degree burn scars all over their bodies, the sisters found out about a pioneering laser treatment used to treat a woman burned in a grease fire by Dr. Jill Waibel, a cosmetic surgeon location in Palm Beach, FL. Once the sisters heard that she was open to meeting with them, they drove with high hopes from their home in Texas to Florida for the consultation. Following their meeting, Dr. Waibel contacted the executives at Lumenis, and together, agreed to treat them using the revolutionary UltraPulse CO2 laser, free of charge.
After undergoing a total of four rounds of treatment, the sisters appeared on the Today Show on Friday, November 6th, with virtually no visible signs of scarring. According to Dr. Waibel, these are “typical results” and that for burn patients, “there’s great improvement, and we’re still studying it and learning more.”
With two more treatments to go, the triplets’ skin will never be perfect, but the dramatic improvements on their scars by the treatment have helped to make their lives better.
What are they doing now?
Since appearing on the Today Show, Dr. Waibel has been invited to travel the world and educate other doctors in the use of the laser while the Berns triplets have started the foundation Three for Hope as a resource for other burn victims. Located in San Antonio, the foundation aims to help burn victims receive the treatment they need.
Its mission statement reads: “To empower and inspire other burn survivors to get past the tragedy in their lives and become the best people they can be. We will be providing reinforcement, hope, education, rehabilitation, treatment, and financial resources and support to survivors and their families.” Thanks to the donations made by viewers of The Today Show, the sisters have said that Three for Hope has been able to assist its first patient.
For more on the Berns Triplets story, go to http://www.bernstriplets.com/