Hundreds of burn survivors will descend on Providence this week for the annual convention of the Phoenix Society. The meeting is dubbed the “World Burn Congress,” and its main purpose is to heal the emotional wounds left by the physical scarring.
They’ve endured house fires, car fires, nightclub blazes and electrocutions and this week about 900 of them will be at the Rhode Island Convention Center for the World Burn Congress sponsored by the Phoenix Society.
Amy Acton, director of the Phoenix Society, says this is the first time they’ve met in Rhode Island but have a long-standing connection to the state because of the Station Nightclub fire.
"We’ve been involved with Rhode Island Hospital and the community in that region really since the Station Nightclub fire and before. So we have a longstanding relationship with many in the community."
Acton says attendees will learn about the latest in burn treatments. But the major focus of the meeting is peer support.
"When you hear that it’s normal to feel scared about going out in public, it’s normal to have difficulty in our relationships after trauma and some of the steps we can take to get everything back, everything we can."
To Rhode Islanders who might encounter some of the burn survivors this week Acton has this advice: just look us in the eye and say hello.
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