Journal entry by The Burns Family



Yesterday Frank went home to the parish of Christ the King on the South Side of Chicago where he grew up. His life was celebrated in a liturgy filled with prayers, music and remembrances of Frank. After the mass, friends and family gathered for a lunch and shared stories of Frank’s wondrous life. 


Over the past 38 days we have all had the opportunity to grow closer with each other and become a part Frank’s extended family from across the country.  


This will be the last time we will be posting on Frank’s Caring Bridge.  But we will not forget him. Though his life was cut short, he still leaves a legacy of friendship, love and helping others with disabilities and special needs.  


Before his death, Frank tirelessly worked to advance the mission of the National Wheelchair Basketball Association to create access to sport for people of all ages with disabilities. The Burns family is honored to join with the NWBA to forward Frank’s mission in life through The Frank T Burns Heritage Fund


Please join us in supporting Frank’s mission and consider a contribution to continue his legacy. (For more information see link below)


On behalf of the Burns family, we thank everyone for their kindness, love and support. We have all lost a very special person in our lives.

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Journal entry by The Burns Family

Dear friends and family,

Here is the schedule for Coach Frank T. Burns' services.

Friday, January 17th 
Visitation 3-8 pm

Saturday, January 18th
Viewing 9:30 - 10:30 am
Celebration of Life 10:30 am

Both events will take place at:

9235 South Hamilton
Chicago IL 60620

Wheelchair accessible entrance located on Hamilton Ave. on the north side of the church by the flagpole.

In lieu of flowers, a donation to the National Wheelchair Basketball Association would be appreciated. To donate online, please use this link:
or you can reach out to Will Waller for additional donation information at

Rooms are being held at the following hotels:


(3.8 Miles to Christ The King Church)

Hilton Chicago/Oak Lawn

9333 South Cicero

Oak Lawn, IL 60453


Ask for Bereavement rate $129.00

(8.1 miles to Christ The King Church)

Double Tree Hilton Alsip

5000 W 127th St,

Alsip, IL 60803

(708) 371-7300
Here's a link to register for the Alsip Double Tree. Simply copy and paste the URL below into your browser to access the exclusive rates available for this group:


Hotel: DoubleTree Hotel Chicago/Alsip

Group Name: Peter Burns Group

Arrival Date: 16-Jan-2020

Departure Date: 19-Jan-2020

Please note, the entire URL must be copied and pasted for it to work properly.

****Please note when using the link**** the accessible rooms will not display unless you click “show accessible rooms”  located below “Narrow Your Results” as shown below

For more information for the Double Tree Alsip contact Luanne Tarvid Reservation Specialist

Hours Monday- Friday 7am until 2pm

Direct (708) 272-4217 | Fax (708) 371-9949


Journal entry by The Burns Family

Dear friends,

This afternoon, Frank passed away peacefully with his family by his side in a room filled with love, honoring a one-of-a-kind extraordinary life.  We share our collective grief with those who knew and loved Frank as a brother, uncle, cousin, coach and friend. 

Frank dedicated his life to teach, help and encourage others with passion and love. 

We are planning on celebrating him on the South Side of Chicago where Frank grew up on January 17th and 18th.    

We will share the location, times and details later this week on CaringBridge. 

We thank everyone for all their well wishes and prayers.  We all will miss Frank dearly. 

Journal entry by The Burns Family

Frank remained off the ventilator today. In our meeting with the medical team it was discussed that the progress of Frank's recovery is not at a place where the doctors would like him to be at this time. He is still in critical condition in the ICU.  We appreciate everyone's good thoughts and prayers for his recovery.

Journal entry by The Burns Family

So we made a mistake yesterday. Frank was not breathing on his own for 6 hours. He continued on his own all night and throughout today. He’s going on 36 hours now. It’s so great to see that ventilator sitting alone in the corner of the ICU room. With the holidays and the weekend over, it seemed like every medical staff member we’ve seen over the past couple of weeks came by to check on Coach Frank. His coughing has slowed down and he got a better rest last night. He had PT today as well.

It will be a few more days before he will be allowed to start speaking with his tracheotomy.

We are sure he cannot wait. 

Journal entry by The Burns Family

Today Frank was off the ventilator and breathing on his own for 6 hours. He still has a cough because of the excess fluids in his body, some of which are in his lungs. The positive side of Frank being off the ventilator is that he is able to expel some of the excess fluids from the lungs.  The downside is that his coughing is causing him discomfort. 

One of the new goals for Coach Frank's recovery is to get him on a standard day/night schedule. Today during his waking hours, he drifted in and out of sleep while watching the football games. The medical team is working to get Frank to sleep earlier in the night and more active by day.  Frank is still not  able to speak yet and we know he has a lot of questions.    Tomorrow the PT team will work on getting Coach Frank more mobile. This should be easier for the Coach now that the breathing tube has been removed. Slow but steady progress.

We want to thank everyone for all the kind thoughts and words that they have expressed on this site.  We are sharing your wonderful messages of love and support to Frank.  

Journal entry by The Burns Family

Today Coach Frank continued on sedation until about noon. Once he was awake later in the afternoon, they took Frank off the ventilator to see how he would do. He breathed on his own for almost 2 1/2 hours.  This was the first time he has been off the ventilator in 23 days. He was still very tired most of the day and has been drifting in and out watching the NFL playoffs. The plan for tomorrow is to take him off the ventilator for a more extended time. Monday he will hopefully begin physical therapy again. 
Frank still has a long way to go and is still in critical condition in the ICU, but he continues to make small and steady progress. Keep those prayers and good thoughts coming!

Journal entry by The Burns Family

Not much change with Coach Frank today. They continue to keep him sedated and his tracheotomy incision is healing well. The scope he had today shows his lungs are good and his coughing demonstrates that the muscles in his throat, lungs and chest are all performing normally.  Tomorrow the plan is to take him off sedation.

Journal entry by The Burns Family

Today Frank had his tracheotomy. He was originally scheduled for an early procedure in the operating room, but eventually they performed the procedure in the ICU. Everything went well. He does have an issue with bleeding around the incision which is not unusual based on his experiences over the past few weeks and it is being monitored.  Following the surgery all his vital signs are normal and the medical team is pleased. 

Frank was put under sedation today for the surgery, and after having two nights of coughing, they will continue the medication throughout the evening so that Frank can get a good night's rest. We are all happy the breathing tube has been removed. 

Journal entry by Pete Burns

Frank is still sedated and on life support. The goal is for him to rest and get stronger before next steps can be taken. He in stable but critical condition.  As his medical team updates us, we will update you via this CaringBridge site.

As he is currently in intensive care, he is unable to take visitors at this time. Prayers and good wishes are appreciated.
Frank’s Story

Site created on December 17, 2019

On Wednesday, December 11, 2019, Coach Frank T. Burns was admitted to the University of Chicago hospital after suffering a heart attack. Due to complications following the procedure,  Frank was admitted to the University of Chicago ICU.  Our dear Frank fought valiantly for over 4 weeks and, on January 8, decided it was time to move on. We all feel the giant void left by our inimitable Coach, brother, uncle, friend and teammate. On January 19, we submitted our final update for Coach Frank, and invite you to support us in helping carry out his mission to raise awareness and to chronicle the very important work of the NWBA through the Frank T Burns Heritage Fund. Information is posted below. God bless.