Claire was burned just a few days before the end of 2019 and spent the first few months of the New Year in the hospital, recovering from her injuries. During her time in-patient, Claire took advantage of all the support she was offered. She processed through her feelings about her injury with the hospital psychologist, spent time with the music therapist, talked with nurses and an ABF social worker but still felt that she was missing the connection from another young adult burn survivor.

Claire was 18 when she was injured, had just finished her first semester in collage and wanted to talk through her injury with another survivor who could relate to the unique challenges of young adulthood. Unfortunately, there was not another young adult available to provide that support at the time, so Claire had to wait for the opportunity. Months after discharge, ABF was finally able to connect Claire with another young adult; a fellow 18-year-old who was injured years ago in a similar manner and underwent many of the same treatments in the hospital. ABF staff initiated the first FaceTime call between the two to introduce them to each other and then provided each with phone numbers to call back and chat more. That day, they talked about everything from scars and hospital stays to college classes and life goals. The pair made plans to stay in touch regularly and message each other periodically to check in and talk about life. ABF’s goal is to connect burn survivors with peers who can offer support based on shared experiences. Peer support for burn survivors is proven to result in a feeling of belonging and gives survivors a sense of confidence and hope about the future. ABF is happy to make connections between burn survivors that leave them feeling less alone and empowered to tackle whatever life has to offer!