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Teenage burn survivor turns accident into inspiration


Sammy Badger (aka Valor Grey) at VGH (left) and post-accident. Source: @valorgrey

In March, Squamish teenager Sammy Badger was sitting around a bonfire with friends when the evening took an explosive turn. One of the teens added some accelerant on the fire and the flames shot up engulfing Sammy's head, face, hair and right hand.

Sammy was rushed to Vancouver General Hospital and spent several days on the Burn, Trauma & High Acuity (BTHA) Unit.

While undergoing excruciating treatment to remove burnt skin, music therapist Gemma Isaac visited her; the interactions proved to be inspirational.

"Gemma played the guitar and sang from behind a curtain while Sam had her first shower after the burn. Gemma's music helped Sammy get through the trauma of the pain of the water on her skin and the nurse trying to deal with her burned and melted mass of hair. Through her swollen and burned lips, Sammy, a lifelong musician and singer, sang a song back to Gemma," reads a news release announcing the teenager's new single. 

An instrumental part of her recovery

That song was “Phoenix." In it, Sammy (whose stage name is Valor Grey) sings about rising out of the ashes. 

In-hospital, she began thinking of ideas for song and it gave her strength. She told her mom, broadcaster Tamara Stanners, that she had come up with a chorus about a Phoenix rising from the fire.

Sammy recently recorded the song with her mother and sister Alex; the track features Vancouver music industry heavyweights Ryan Guldemond, of Mother Mother and Nick Petrowich of Bend Sinister

On August 24, she released the track in hopes of inspiring others.

Sammy plans to donate partial proceeds of the song to the B.C. Professional Firefighters'​ Burn Fund.

“Now I am braver than ever, stronger than ever," she sings. “You may just see scars, but I am so much more."


​​Listen to "Phoenix" by Valor Gray on YouTube above. To download the song, go to: ​​​

SOURCE: Teenage burn survivor turns accident into inspiration ( )
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