Helicopter crash survivor Laura Sharpe Artists For Trauma - Chicago News and Weather | FOX 32 News

Helicopter crash survivor launches artistic foundation

Updated: April 30, 2012 04:22 PM EDT
ATF helps trauma victims express their emotions that they encounter during their recovery and rehabilitation periods. (©iStockphoto.com/Niels Laan) ATF helps trauma victims express their emotions that they encounter during their recovery and rehabilitation periods. (©iStockphoto.com/Niels Laan)
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By Dan Meade

(WORLDNOW) -- In 2008 Laura Sharpe was in a helicopter crash that killed three others and left her with burns on 40 percent of her body. It took her years to recover from that accident, and now that she has, she is looking to help others suffering from trauma injuries.

Sharpe founded Artists For Trauma (ATF) with an eye towards "enriching the lives of both civilian and military trauma survivors by pairing recovering patients with established artists from various disciplines." The foundation looks to pair trauma victims with artists who can help the victims express the emotions that they encounter during their recovery and rehabilitation periods.

As Sharpe says in her introductory video for ATF, "Artists For Trauma is about focusing on the positivity, on the possibilities" at a time that when trauma victims are dealing with great emotion and physical stress. "There is great opportunity for recovery from Level-1 trauma," she says using herself as an example. After 43 fractures, brain injuries, nearly losing an eye and a leg, Sharpe is still a strong and confident woman.

In a recent interview with Colleen Williams of KNBC, Sharpe explained that "the patient does not have to be an artist… you just have to be in the process of recovery… It's all therapeutic, and it's all about creating some fun and joy in the very long recovery process."

ATF currently partners with UCLA's Operation Mend, a program focusing on wounded veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan, and is looking to expand its reach by working with the Los Angeles National Veteran's Park in its own search to help veterans through restorative healing.

For further information on Laura Sharpe or Artists for Trauma, visit www.artistsfortrauma.org.

Dan Meade is the Senior Editor for Worldnow. You can follow him on Twitter here.

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