My accident was in September 2013.
I was in the shed when I accidentally spilt white spirit over myself whilst leaning to grab some paint. I picked the bottle up and whilst I was placing it back I saw a lighter and without thinking flicked it to see if it worked (I am a smoker and non of mine worked in the house)
The rest I have no memory of. I was told I managed to put myself out and call 999. I was airlifted to a burns specialist hospital; I had 55% burns to the upper body including my face and neck. My family was called as they thought that I might not make it!
I was put in an induced coma for 2 weeks, had numerous operations and skin grafts, and a tracheostomy to help my breathing and spent another 6 weeks in intensive care, as I grew stronger.
I was moved onto a rehab ward and spent another 6 months there. I had to relearn how to walk, I couldn’t move my arms so I had to be fed, and had loads of physiotherapy.
The day I was given a mirror to see my face I cried like a baby, I said I looked like a monster. After a total of 8 months I was allowed to go home. Other than hospital appointments I didn’t go out in public for over 2 years, even now 4 years later I rarely go out. I cannot stand the stares and comments.
I have had a few operations since I have been home including 2 tissue expanders on my head to cover a huge bald patch. What has been a great success, for the past 9 months I’ve been having laser treatment to my face and neck with amazing results flattening the scars and lessening the redness.
I have always hated my scars but I am beginning to accept them. I cover them up with long sleeves and high necks. For the photo shoot I choose to wear a cold shoulder top which I’ve never had the confidence to wear, I want to say ‘this is me’ and I can still look good!
The accident has changed my life completely. Burns are such a long recovery but I owe it to my family and hospital staff to live my life to the full and that what I intend to do.