Surviving Survival: One patients story of resilience and recovery post severe burn injury

Julia Kwiet1,2, Mrs Rachel Edmondson1,3

1NSW Health, Severe Burn Injury Unit, RNSH, Sydney, Australia, 2NSRHS Social Work Department, St Leonards, Australia, 3RNSH Physiotherapy Department, St Leonards, Australia

In Australia 1 in 6 women will experience domestic violence. International research suggests a trauma informed and collaborative approach is required to best meet the needs of patients affected by trauma.

Severe burn injury, particularly when sustained in the context of interpersonal family violence and traumatic bereavement, are amongst the most challenging and traumatic injuries. Interestingly, a patient’s recovery and overall outcome is often not linked to the severity of injury. Many factors influence this complex process and there is a strong link between the physical and psychosocial injury and recovery.

This presentation will explore the remarkable recovery of a women admitted to the Severe Burns Injury Unit with over 70 % TBSA burn injury sustained within a DV context. Themes of hope, resilience, determination and forgiveness will be explored.


Julia Kwiet is a Senior Social Worker with over 15 years of clinical experience of supporting severe burn injury patients. Julia has a masters in counselling and is trained in EMDR. She is the chief investigator in the Burns Reported Experience Study and developed the training modules for understanding trauma and Psychosocial Toolkit for the Australian and New Zealand Burn Association Rehabilitation Course. Julia has a particular interest in education, trauma, psychosocial care and adopts a strength based recovery model of care.

Rachel Edmondson is a Senior Physiotherapist with over 10 years’ experience working on the Severe burn Injury Unit. She has a special interest in education including being involved in the development and teaching at the Burns Rehabilitation Course for the Australian and New Zealand Burn Association.

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