Location: Georgia, USA
Date Of Injury: 1973
My name is Jen Hartley and I was severely scalded by hot bath water over the lower 56% of my body when I was only 15 months old. On May 30th, 1973, my 17 year old mom was giving me a bath in the kitchen sink when the neighbor told her she had an important phone call next door. We were poor and didn’t have our own phone. My young mom thought I would be ok playing for a few minutes and in her brief absence, I bumped the hot water faucet. It was later discovered that the hot water heater in our rental house was set on 180 degrees. I sustained 3rd & 4th degree, hypertrophic scars over the lower half of my body. My parents were told I would not survivor the night and when I did, they were told I would never walk again. I was walking three months later. I have been blessed to have been treated at some of the best burn units in the country including the Shriners Burn Institute in Galveston, TX and JMS Burn Center in Augusta, GA.
I always knew I wanted to give back to the burn survivor community I grew up in, but didn’t know what capacity. Finally in 2003, I enrolled at Augusta School of Massage, Inc in Augusta, GA thanks to a full scholarship from the Flicker of Hope Foundation. I graduated as the Most Inspirational Student and started down my path to introduce my version of Burn Scar Massage Therapy into the lives of both burn survivors and massage therapists. I have taught across the United States, into Nicaragua as well as South Africa. We have a referral network of Burn Scar Massage Therapy trained therapists in many states and our goal is to have therapists trained in EVERY state and as many countries as possible.
Handle with Care Massage Therapy has also provided massage teams for Camp-Oo-U-La, the Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation Children’s Burn Camp, The Grossman Family Summer and Winter Camp, served as trainers for the massage team for the 2014 World Burn Congress in Anaheim, CA and were named the 2015 California AMTA Educators of the Year.