'I am a Phoenix': teenager burned in campfire releases a song of inspiration

Inspired by music therapist at VGH, Valor Grey transforms pain into victory

Squamish teen musician, Sammy Badger, who was burned at a campfire earlier this year, has released a new single.

Badger, under her musical name Valor Grey, released  “Phoenix” on Friday, Aug. 24.

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To hear the song, go to valorgrey.bandcamp.com.

The upbeat, folksy tune focuses on finding the positive and moving on.

“Now I am braver than ever, stronger than ever,” she croons. “You may just see scars, but I am so much more.”

On March 16, Badger, 17 was with some friends at a campfire by the river in Brackendale. Another teen threw some accelerant on the fire, which caused it to burst upward, right at Badger.

The flames engulfed her head, severely burning her face, hair, and her right hand.

She was rushed to Vancouver General Hospital.

"Sammy went through the excruciating process of debriding (the removal of damaged skin) of her face and hand for three weeks," reads a news release announcing her new single. 

During her stay in the hospital, a music therapist visited her.

"[Therapist] Gemma played the guitar and sang from behind a curtain while Sam had her first shower after the burn. Gemma's music helped Sammy get through the trauma of the pain of the water on her skin and the nurse trying to deal with her burned and melted mass of hair. Through her swollen and burned lips, Sammy, a lifelong musician and singer, sang a song back to Gemma."

It was there at VGH that “Phoenix” was born.

Badger told her mom, broadcaster Tamara Stanners, that she had the chorus for a song, about a Phoenix rising from the fire.

The song features Badger on vocals, Stanners and Alex Badger on background vocals. Ryan Guldemond, of Mother Mother, is on guitar, Nick Petrowich of Bend Sinister contributed on drums. The song is produced by JP Maurice, and mixed by Russell Broom. Arrangement assistance was from Angela Kelman.

The plan is to share any funds that may come from the single with the BC Professional Firefighters Burn Fund.




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