Peer Support Makes a Difference: One Couple’s Story of Burn Recovery

Hopefully you’ve seen Oscar Barrera’s video testimonial about his burn injury and watched Jeannine tell her personal story as the spouse of a burn survivor. Seeing the two of them together in our new video below provides new insight into how burn recovery can change the dynamic of a relationship.  

After Oscar’s injury, normalcy was Jeannine’s goal: keeping things as they were and making the situation as close to their life before Oscar’s burn injury as possible. Oscar struggled during his initial rehabilitation; as a get-up-and-go kind of guy, it was difficult for him to let himself be taken care of, both mentally and emotionally. 

Learning how to exist as a couple and family with a burn survivor in the house was an entirely new and trying experience for everyone, especially their daughter. Jeannine didn’t allow herself to grieve, assuming she needed to be the rock for everyone. Dealing with a hospital bed in their den for a year, confronting the changing attitudes of those around them, and struggling with all the complexity that came with a longer-than-expected road to recovery and healing were all new, challenging situations. 

Going through this as a couple, Oscar and Jeannine realized how invaluable peer support would have been for their whole family during that time. Now, as Phoenix SOAR Peer Supporters themselves, they want to spread the word as much as possible about this program and let others know there is help out there.  

You don’t have to go it alone. Couples like Oscar and Jeannine are there for you, to talk to you and connect on a personal level.  

Funding provided through DHS/FEMA’s Grant Program Directorate for Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program - Fire Prevention and Safety Grants

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