Customer Stories

Giving Jake his independence back

Going a step beyond means a new-found freedom for a U.S. Marine.

During a training exercise, a U.S. Marine Corps amphibious assault vehicle hit a hidden gas line on the side of the road. After many attempts to dislodge the vehicle, a spark ignited the gas line engulfing the vehicle in flames. Among the 15 inside the vehicle, was Corporal Jake McMahon. Once Jake had escaped the wall of flames, he realized the extent of the burns on wrists and hands; it was severe, he couldn’t move his hands at all.

Jake’s doctors weren’t confident that he would ever regain full mobility and motor function in his hands. It would be a long and arduous process before any functionality would return. With his options looking grim, Jake faced a life of dependence on others, and the loss of his freedom.

There was one final treatment option: EPIFIX®. A therapeutic biologics company, MIMEDX - a customer of Thermo Fisher Scientific – develops this treatment. EPIFIX is a skin substitute that protects the wound bed to aid in the development of granulation tissue and provides a human biocompatible extracellular matrix that retains 300+ regulatory proteins. The treatment can be applied directly to skin wounds, acting as a protective barrier that supports the healing cascade.

EPIFIX is a novel treatment, and one that Jake’s doctors hoped would aid in his recovery. The result was nothing short of amazing.


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“I can just go about my life in a normal way, which is all I wanted. There’s nothing that says what I can’t do, when for a long time that was the reality, I had to live my life around the accident. The treatment changed my life completely.”


With a recuperation time of weeks rather than months, and the return of full motor function to his hands, Jake now lives, works and plays with the accident as a distant memory. Giving someone like Jake a second chance to live a normal, independent life is how companies like MIMEDX go a step beyond, every single day.

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