Following the accident that burned over 80 percent of her body, Stephanie Nielson lay in bed pretending she was asleep. She was avoiding therapists who, in an effort to aid her recovery, came into her hospital room to talk through the trauma she was experiencing after a plane crash that left both Nielson and her husband, Christian, so badly burned that they were placed in medically induced comas.
While she knew the therapists meant well, Nielson felt that rehashing the emotions associated with the horrific accident was not helping.
“I was thinking, ‘What would be helpful to me?’" Nielson said. "And I thought, ‘It would be so great if my therapist or nurse would bring a computer in and say, ‘Check out this girl. She was burned just like you, and look what she’s doing now.’ It would just be so nice for me to sit and watch this woman who went through something very similar to me and now has a beautiful life.”
Now, more than seven years later, the Nielsons are launching Beauty Rises, a 501(c)(3) public charity that will “inspire hope and heroism in people who need it most,” according to the charity's website.
Lead image from Deseret News.
When Stephanie and Christian were in a horrific plane crash in 2008 — he was burned over 40 percent of his body; she over 80 percent and wasn't expected to live — they needed the strength of their family and friends, their faith, and their love for one another, more than ever. In the aftermath of harrowing tragedy Stephanie has maintained a stunning sense of humor, optimism, and resilience — a strength of spirit that infuses her very popular blog. Riveting and uplifting, Heaven is Here offers a gripping account of the crash and the aftermath, and how she has come to find hope and beauty despite her scars.