Letter from the CEO

Written by Amy Acton, RN, BSN on December 20, 2021

Dear Friends,

The stories in this issue of Burn Support Magazine don’t shy from the challenges and uncertainty of life after a burn injury. The team at Pritzker Hageman shares a guide to finding and hiring a burn injury attorney. In “Ask the Experts,” Samoana Matagi shares his fear of being a burden to his family and Dr. Lise Deguire reflects on the reality of finding love after an appearance-changing trauma.

There’s no such thing as an “easy recovery” from a burn injury. I vividly remember sitting in the bathroom at a party, pants around my ankles, my hands still too weak to pull my tight pressure garments back up. I was 18 years old, desperate for independence—and I had no choice but to call for a friend.

It was embarrassing—for both of us—but after a moment, my pants were up and I was returning to the party. I made a fresh commitment to the physical therapy that would build my hand strength. In the meantime, I would just have to get used to asking for help.

I wonder how my experience would have been different if I’d had a network of burn survivors to share advice, encouragement, and even a few laughs.

It’s hard to heal when you don’t feel seen, your struggles go unheard, and you don’t have a sense of belonging. That’s why Phoenix Society is committed to building a community of all those impacted by burn injury, a place where we can lift each other up and out of the very real challenges we face. Through peer support, shared experience, and powerful stories, we can start to see a glimmer of hope and take the next step.

I recently heard it said like this: “We are strong not despite the burn injury but because of the burn experience.”

It is no different for Phoenix Society as we emerge out of a challenging environment and work to expand our impact. By focusing on our internal needs for this growth, we have better prepared ourselves to meet the needs of the community. We recently completed an extensive survey of our community to assure we are aligned to your challenges and needs. We have identified our strengths and where we can work with others to achieve the impact we know we can have.

A movement is greater than one person.

With gratitude,

Amy Acton, RN, BSN