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‘Burn Camp’ Helps Survivors Both Physically And Emotionally

SANDY, Utah – It was a loud scream in the early morning hours that alerted Erin Johnson to the fire in her home. Although it has been two years since the incident, she gets emotional talking about that life-changing day.

“I, February 13, 2017, was in a house fire, and I burned 13 percent of my body, and I ended up in the hospital for 34 days,” Johnson said. “They said it started with a cigarette on the porch.”

Johnson was treated at the University of Utah Burn Center for burns to her hands, shoulders and face. She said the incident not only injured her physically but also emotionally.

“It’s not like one and done, like for people who break their leg,” she said. “It’s harder because more people see it; I mean a lot of people aren’t comfortable with showing scars.”

Johnson said her road to recovery is ongoing and credits the University of Utah Burn Center, in collaboration with the National Ability Center, with helping her through that journey.

Tuesday night, nearly a dozen patients met at the Momentum Indoor Climbing Gym in Sandy for their Burn Survivor Climbing Clinic, pushing their limits and building community.

“They are very in tune with, like, talking and just, like, communicating; it’s very nice to have that support system,” Johnson said.

These activities are free to survivors, put on throughout the year by the center. Johnson said participating in these events has helped her recover in every aspect of her life.

“Being around other survivors and people who have gone through the same thing was really helpful,” she said.

For more information on ‘Burn Camp’ activities, visit the University of Utah Burn Center’s website.

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