From Pain to Painting
When Brianna was born, her doctor noticed that her skin was different that that of other newborns. She was quickly diagnosed with epidermolysis bullosa, a rare skin condition that causes fragile, blistering skin.
Brianna's mother, Leslie, knew nothing about epidermolysis bullosa when her baby was diagnosed, but she found the help and resources that both she and her daughter needed at Cook Children's.
Brianna has to be very careful with her skin, with everything that she does, every single day. Even the slightest friction can cause her thin skin to tear or a painful blister to form. Epidermolysis bullosa also affects Brianna's internal organs and eyes, and it causes her a lot of pain. There is no cure for her condition, so her medical team helps manage her pain and focuses on treating her blisters and preventing new ones.
Some days are better than others and Brianna has developed many coping mechanisms. Art is one that she turns to often, redirecting her focus from pain to painting.
Brianna is a sweet and caring teenager. She may seem shy sometimes, but is very expressive through her art. She is a talented artist and dreams of becoming a professional artist one day. She especially loves painting butterflies, whose delicate wings represent her fragile skin, and cacti to represent the sharp pain she experiences.
Our Child Life specialists know how important and therapeutic art is for Brianna, so they are quick to put a paint brush in her hand when she comes to Cook Children's. They also find opportunities for her to share her art with the world so that she can see it come to life.
"I am proud of Bri," said her mother. "Even though she is in pain, she looks forward to doing things. She doesn't let it stop her."
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