Charles Martin Wender, owner of Charles Martin Wender Real Estate & Investments Photo courtesy of Texas CEO Magazine.
Charles Martin Wender, owner of Charles Martin Wender Real Estate & Investments Photo courtesy of Texas CEO Magazine.

Charles Martin “Marty” Wender, one of San Antonio’s most prominent real estate developers and civic leaders, suffered burns to over 20% of his body after losing consciousness inside the steam shower at his home on Thursday evening, and is now listed in serious condition at the burn unit at the San Antonio Military Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston.

UPDATE: Wender’s daughter-in-law, Jamie, wrote an update on his condition Friday night via the CaringBridge website:

“The nurses keep reminding us that the recovery process is a marathon and not a sprint.  After being on IVs for two weeks, there is still a lot of fluid in his body and they’re doing some physical therapy to help move those fluids away from his chest and lungs.  Marty was on sedatives (he’s now off!) for a full week and a half, and we’ve been assured that it takes longer for those strong doses of medication to get out of a 69-year-old’s system than it does for a patient half his age.

We were told that burn patients are expected to be in the hospital an average of three days for every percent of their body covered in burns. And at Marty’s 20%, he’s looking at 60 days, approximately half of which they estimate will be in the ICU. In case you’re counting, today was Day #15. So yes, there is still a very long road ahead. I knew this already, but it’s worth pointing out here that my mother-in-law is phenomenal. So are her three boys, who despite the distance, have rallied around Rene and their father.”

News of Wender’s accident spread through the city’s business and civic leadership circles after the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce sent out an email advisory to its more than 10,000 members and contacts. Wender, 69, is a past chamber chairman and has held dozens of other civic and volunteer leadership positions in the past three decades.

Wender was found unconscious inside the steam shower by his wife, Rene, around 8:30 p.m. on Thursday after he failed to come out for dinner, and was transported to University Hospital. How he lost consciousness is not clear, but the burns appear to be from prolonged exposure and proximity to the high temperature steam ports in the sauna-like shower.

Medical staff at University Hospital decided to transfer Wender to the Military Medical Center, which includes one of the world’s premier burn treatment centers. Family friends said Wender was airlifted to the center where he remains in serious condition, but is slowly gaining strength. As he gets stronger, burn treatment specialists will begin treating his burns.

Wender, founder and CEO of Charles Martin Wender Real Estate Investments, also has played a major role in the city’s economic development efforts For many years, helping recruits dozens of companies to the city. Many of those companies, ranging from Microsoft to Wells Fargo to General Motors Financial, have developed corporate campuses, data centers and back office call centers in and around Westover Hills on the city’s northwest side, a 3,500-acre mixed used development, perhaps Wender’s most prominent undertaking in San Antonio. Westover Hills also is home to SeaWorld and the nearby Hyatt Hill Country Resort.

Chamber CEO and President Richard Perez sent the email advisory Saturday at 11:37 a.m. Well-meaning Friends and colleagues have been asked not to besiege Rene and the family with calls. The burn unit has a no visitors policy, according to the chamber email. The family does plan to post updates on Wender’s condition and treatment as they become available on CaringBridge.

“He developed Westover Hills which has Seaworld, Microsoft and data centers,” Perez said, during a phone interview Saturday afternoon. “He’s been a visionary for this community and the leading pillar of the business community for many, many years.”

Wender has served on many charitable organizations including San Antonio Medical Foundation board and the University of Texas Health Science Development board.

He is also an active member of the University of Texas Longhorn Advisory Council and the University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business Advisory Council.

This story was originally published on Saturday, Jan. 12.

*Top Image:Charles Martin Wender, owner of Charles Martin Wender Real Estate & Investments. Photo courtesy of Texas CEO Magazine.

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Lea Thompson

Lea Thompson is a Texas native who has lived in Houston, Austin and San Antonio. She enjoys exploring new food and culture events. Follow her adventures on Instagram, Twitter or Culture Spoon.