Posted by Susan Daker, Staff Reporter December 27, 2007 3:40 PM
A Semmes woman bequeathed more than $10 million to the Shriners Hospital for Children to open a burn unit in Mobile, the group announced today.
Dorothy Morris, heir to her late-husband's vast timber estate, left the money to the charity when she died in March, said John Tyson Sr., a member of a local Shrine. Morris did not have any children and wanted to leave her money to the Shriners since her husband was a member.
Plans for the center are still in flux, Tyson said in making the announcement at Government Plaza in downtown Mobile, where his son works as Mobile County's district attorney.
So far the idea is to open a Shriners-operated burn treatment center for children at the University of South Alabama Medical Center, Tyson said. The Shriners unit would be in addition to the regional burn center USA presently operates, Tyson said.
Shriners hospitals are located across the country and specialize in orthopedic, burn and spinal cord injury care. They provide free medical care to children, through donations. The organization does not take government grants, Tyson said.
The proposed burn center still needs approval from USA and officials on the national level of the Shriners organization, which is based in Tampa, Fla., Tyson said. Tyson said he will meet with both soon.