Laura’s Story


Laura Sharpe: The Woman Who Fell from the Sky


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For Laura Sharpe, Founder of Artists For Trauma,
Recovery Truly is an art.

Gravely injured in a tragic helicopter crash on California’s Catalina Island that killed three other passengers in 2008, Laura Sharpe suffered critical, near-fatal injuries that would change the course of her life forever.

Sharpe fought her way through four weeks in a coma, endured 43 broken bones, burns over more than 40 percent of her body, multiple skin grafts, the near-loss of an eye, and the partial amputation of her foot.

For more than two years after her near-death experience, Sharpe endured endless physical pain and 40 – 60 weekly hours of medical treatment and therapies.

Focusing on the future, and feeling grateful for all the love and support she was blessed to receive, Laura Sharpe embarked on a journey of re-discovery through a personal engagement with the arts.  From her work with esteemed artists in the areas of photography, film, dance, sculpture and music, Sharpe was able to rise above and beyond her pain and dramatically improve the quality of her recovery through the creative interaction between herself and the artists.

Sharpe’s first artistic exhibition entitled, The Laura Project: “Re-Membered” Interpretations of Reconstruction, was showcased at the renowned James Gray Gallery in Santa Monica in 2011. The event featured the emotional works of art created by Sharpe during her recovery.

Inspired by her physical and emotional transformation, Sharpe collaborated with these six acclaimed artists to form the blueprint for a unique concept of healing and recovery.  Compelled to help other trauma survivors find strength in their recovery, regain a sense of hope and see the beauty in life, Laura Sharpe founded Artists For Trauma.

Related news articles:

Catalina helicopter crash survivor turns tragedy into art |
Thursday, March 17, 2011
In a disfiguring, near-death experience, Laura Sharpe found a thing of beauty. Read more from the Ventura County Star

3 killed, 3 hurt in helicopter crash on Catalina Island | May 25, 2008
The Island Express sightseeing copter goes down near Two Harbors, on the west side of the island. A witness says he saw a fireball coming from the craft’s exhaust pipe before the crash.
Read more from the Los Angeles Times

California helicopter crash kills 3, injures 3 | May 25, 2008
A tour helicopter crashed on an island off the Southern California coast Saturday morning, killing three people and injuring three others, a county sheriff’s deputy said. Read more from USA Today

Witness risks her life to save crash victims | May 25, 2008
Investigators are looking into what caused a deadly helicopter crash that claimed three lives Saturday morning. Read more from ABC 7 Los Angeles