July 18th, 2012
01:21 PM ET

Healing process more than skin deep for burn survivors

Editor's note: In the Human Factor, we profile survivors who have overcome the odds.  Confronting a life obstacle – injury, illness or other hardship – they tapped their inner strength and found resilience they didn't know they possessed.  Lesia Cartelli's childhood tragedy motivated her to found a retreat for young women who have scars just like hers.

It happened again.  We witnessed more miracles of strength and courage in just seven days.  We just completed our ninth retreat at Angel Faces.

After every retreat I think…can this get any better? Are there more girls out there in the world with so much pain, yet desire to heal from their serious burn injuries?  The next year rolls around, another retreat gets underway where we witness more adolescent girls flocking to us with a hunger to overcome their fears of being accepted, a desire to embrace who they are, and an urge to get excited about a new life.

The girls arrive at the front gate with scars molding and weaving various shapes over what once was fresh, virgin skin. Often the depth of their scars is not even close to the depth of heart pain that came with those scars. 

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.