UPMC Mercy Burn Center Patients Enjoy Survivors Camp

By: Beth Mausteller

Former patients at the UPMC Mercy Burn Center boarded buses and hit the road for in June. The kids will spend four days with other burn survivors at Camp Susquehanna in Poyntelle, Pa.

Campers have fun, learn life skills and meet other burn survivors. “This is a chance for these kids to just be kids,” said Dr. Jenny Ziembicki, medical director of the UPMC Mercy Burn Center. “Burns aren’t just physically painful — they can change the way you see yourself and the way other people see you. This is a great opportunity for kids to spend time with other kids who’ve been through the same thing.”

That’s just what 13-year-old Elliye is hoping. Elliye and her 9-year-old brother, Miles, were treated at UPMC Mercy after a fire at their home in New York in January 2022. This is their first trip to camp and they’ve been looking forward to having fun with other kids who can relate to their stories.

The camp is sponsored by the Burn Prevention Network and is free for the campers. It’s open to kids between the ages of 7 and 17 who have had a burn injury. The camp staff includes adult burn survivors and health care professionals.

UPMC Mercy is the only hospital in Western Pennsylvania with a Level 1 Trauma Center and Comprehensive Burn Center under one roof. The combination of high-level trauma and burn care makes UPMC Mercy a leading center for expertise and innovation in cutting-edge burn treatment technology, pain control and wound care.