FROM THE ASHES Surviving The Station Nightclub Fire
On February 20, 2003, a crowd of nearly five hundred people were packed inside a small nightclub in West Warwick, Rhode Island to listen to the music of 80's rock band, Great White. During their opening song, a pyrotechnic display ignited a stage wall. A rampaging fire spread quickly, engulfing the interior and trapping many people inside before they could escape. Within minutes, the incident became the fourth deadliest fire in U.S. history, killing 100 people and injuring 200 others.
Gina Russo, 36, a mother of two young boys, was overcome by smoke inhalation and passed out before being pulled from a pile of bodies by an unknown rescuer. Her fianceé, Freddy Crisostomi, died at the scene. Gina had sustained burns to over 40% of her body, lost her left ear and the burns to her head went clean to her skull, making her unable to grow her own hair. She spent eleven weeks in a coma and six more weeks in a rehabilitation hospital before she was finally allowed to go home. The grueling physical therapy continued for many years, and so far she has undergone fifty surgeries and assorted skin graft procedures. The psychological scars she endured are every bit as permanent as the ones to her body. However, with the love and support of her family, Gina has made tremendous progress, while maintaining her positive outlook and love for life.
Today, Gina has re-married and is back to work at her old job. In From The Ashes,
she offers readers an emotional story of hope and triumph that will amaze and inspire.
After a brief biography of Gina's life and her actions the night of the fire, her long road to recovery and "wholeness" becomes the main focus of this book. Gina gives her caregivers and her family all the credit for her survival, but her own strength and courage cannot be discounted, and these are the things that come shining through in this book, an inspiration for anyone who has gone through such a profound degree of loss and suffering.