This Is Me—And I Won’t Quit. Luis’ Story of Burn Recovery.


In 2002, Luis Nevarez, a firefighter, went to work one morning on a routine call about a downed power line. A chance incident, a smoldering tree, and a hidden downed line led to severe 3rd degree electrical burns and the amputation of his left forearm. 

Luis struggled with many emotions during his burn recovery. He worried about how his children would handle the changes due to his injury, and he worried about how others would perceive his new appearance. Re-learning how to accomplish all the firefighter essentials and get through his everyday life with his new prosthetic dominated his time. Eventually, Luis came to terms with the fact that this was who he is—and that was okay. His life would carry on, and he would not quit living or quit his job as a firefighter. The support he received from a Phoenix SOAR trained peer supporter made a dramatic and positive impact on his recovery.  

Now, Luis shares his experience with others during their burn recovery. Understanding the culture of firefighting gives him a unique perspective that no one but a fellow firefighter could share. As a trained Phoenix SOAR peer supporter, this is important to Luis. Through this program, he helps raise awareness about the emotional and psychological aspects of burn recovery, and he gets the chance to share one of the most important parts of this journey – hope. 

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

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