Education Grant Recipient Shares Message of Hope and Healing

Bridget believes her journey recovering from severe burn injuries gave her a new outlook on life.

“I feel like a part of me died after the fire,” she said. “But what I gained was incredible and inspiring. Being a burn survivor doesn’t mean you lost your life, it means you get a chance to start again.”

As a mother of four, Bridget sought strength from her children, who were also burned in the house fire. She realized that by covering her scars, she was actually hiding the things they all overcame.

“I taught my girls to be proud of their scars and not to be ashamed,” she said. “I teach my kids to remain positive and not judge anyone. I also make sure they know they are beautiful and that they are fighters.”

She takes that same sentiment with her as she pursues a career in social work. She hopes to work in the burn unit of a hospital, where she can encourage other burn survivors to embrace the next phase of their life. She is using an education grant to pursue her degree from Western Nebraska Community College.

“I want to be the one to help people figure out what’s next after a burn injury,” Bridget said. “I want to be the person they can talk to about the fears of leaving the burn center. I want to encourage survivors to enjoy the scars and the second chance at life.”

Her experience in the burn unit and interactions with other burn survivors helps her let others know that there is a hope for the future, despite the physically and mentally challenging recovery process.

She hopes to share the message that scars, whether on the inside or outside, highlight each person’s strength and resilience.

Story contributed  with permission by AlloSource, one of the nation’s largest non-profit providers of skin, bone, and soft tissue allografts for use in surgical procedures and the world’s largest processor of cellular bone allografts.  AlloSource has pledged a 10-year gift to support Phoenix Society’s Phoenix Education Grant program for burn survivor students pursuing their post-secondary education.  AlloSource blog: http://www.allograftpossibilities.org

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