Survivors of physically disfiguring trauma, regardless of the cause, have experienced a series of assaults on the mind as well as on the body that present extraordinary challenges to human resilience. For the past 17 years, one of the authors (Dr. Blakeney) has worked closely with children and adults who have been severely burned. For burned individuals, the trauma of injury inevitably results in disfigurement, sometimes scars that can be easily hidden but more often scars that are noticeable. In fact, 20 years ago, it was generally accepted in the United States that persons with massive burns could not survive; and it was generally believed that, if such a person did survive, they would be so unhappy that they would want to die. Burn survivors were construed as the monsters of literature and film.



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