December 7, 2023
TAMI’S EXPERIENCE AT THE PHOENIX WORLD BURN CONGRESS
“I was very fortunate to attend the Phoenix World Burn Congress in October of 2023 thanks to Arizona Burn Foundation. I was very excited to go however as the days got closer to the event I was full of anxiety and wasn’t 100% sure if I was ready to attend. Upon arriving at the PWBC I was overwhelmed with emotion. I wasn’t sure what I was going to get out of attending or what to even expect.
Although there were many mentally tough moments while at the event there were so many more moments that contributed to my mental healing. Seeing other burn survivors and hearing not only their stories but also how they are dealing with certain challenges and are able to express how they are feeling was truly magical for me. I felt so “normal” so validated, so much like “me” again just being surrounded with others who have similar stories to mine and could understand where I was coming from. I felt empowered to hold my head high again and accept more of my life and who I am today.
As a burn survivor we are often told the way we feel is normal and what we can expect in our healing process from people in the medical field as well as from those who love us. Until I was able to hear other burn survivors talk about what they have been going through, how they are feeling, what they are doing to help their mental and physical healing I was still a little uncertain whether or not the feelings I have are “normal or to be expected.”
Being at PWBC and being able to speak freely to other burn survivors and not have to wonder if they really could understand where I was coming from was very comforting. It was so helpful to attend small groups at the event and interact with other burn survivors. I was able to ask questions as well as share stories about my own healing process.
Healing can be a very slow, uncertain process not only for the burn survivor but their caregivers/loved ones. Attending PWBC with one of my main caregivers not only offered me comfort in my healing but hers as well. We were forever changed on August 28, 2022 the day of my incident but we were also changed forever after attending PWBC 2023″