Laura Sharpe’s life changed forever a few years ago when the helicopter she was riding in caught fire and crashed off the coast of Catalina Island. She had to be pulled out of burning wreckage by her daughter, who was also on board. Miraculously, the two of them survived but three of their friends did not make it.
Following the crash, Laura was in a coma for a month and suffered 43 broken burns and burns over 40 percent of her body.
Despite the horrific trauma her body endured, she says her first recall after the crash was the feeling of being embraced by love.
She says she is now dedicated to a deeper level of service to mankind and feels a deeper purpose.
She launched a project called Artists for Trauma, which is based on the experiences she had collaborating with six artist friends in the years following the crash. They created six different interpretations of reconstruction through photography, sculpture, dance and music.
Now, Laura is helping to create a platform for military and other civilian traumatized people.
The project pairs a trauma survivor with an artist. Laura says it’s about creating fun and magic and a distraction from the all-encompassing pain of surviving a trauma.
She says it’s an important tool to help the survivor reconnect with themselves, their families and their communities. She explains how creativity can reach people in places they never even knew existed and help them find a way forward. Many survivors, most of whom were never artists before, even discover a new passion for creativity and making art.