The tips of my finger are amputated. Also the tips of my toes. It’s hard to believe that such damage could be caused by a little bathwater.
I was scalded the day before my first birthday when I was left unsupervised in the bathroom. I had accidentally knocked the hot tap.
I was scalded in 0.03 seconds. If my mother had been in the bathroom, I would have still endured the 33% scars to my body, which I carry around with me every day.
No mother should be handed her baby to hold as if it was going to be the last time.
I made it through my three-month recovery period in Nottingham City Hospital, fighting off two blood poisonings and a life support machine. I was then allowed home at weekends. Home was a weekend vacation, away from the blood pressure machine and screams from the other kids.
I was fed through a tube and the pressure garments were strapped against my burns that covered my hands, feet and right leg. I was creamed three times a day. Bathed at least twice a day.
It was a long recovery. Eventually, the pressure garments came off. My tube was thrown away and the boxing gloves as bandages got thinner.
I would hold My bottles in between my bandages.
I had the most motivational upbringing. I would hold my milk bottles in between my bandages. My teachers at school were told to treat me like every other child with no special treatment. And I slowly but surely learnt to ignore the whispers and the stares.
Although I was told I wouldn’t walk, I competed in 1500m races at school. I was told that I wouldn’t be able to write so I became a student journalist. I have little grip in my right hand and yet I learnt how to drive.
Since I was a child, my mum taught me that “anything is possible if you put your mind to it.”
I still carry this around with me every day. I still challenge myself and I am still striving for my goals.
I would be lying if I said it was easy – I still battle my own demons. But my days have got easier and I have grown to accept the scars I see through the mirror every morning.
Now 21, I still have to have operations to release burn contractions that restrict my movement. I still switch from good days to bad days. But my scars have inspired me to pursue my dreams. I’m now in my final year at university and I volunteer in developing countries and for the British Red Cross, helping those who are less fortunate than what I am.
One of my favourite quotes:
“Pain can change you, but that doesn’t mean it has to be a bad change. Take that change and turn it into wisdom.”
I wouldn’t change my scars for the world.