Preeti Sira, 28, from West London, writes to ScarGlobal about what it is like to be a burn survivor:
“When I was 7-years-old, I was badly burnt when my scarf caught on the flame of a candle that was sitting in my home temple. Everything felt like a blur at that time. I got 33% burns to my face, stomach, chest and back.
After being in a hospital for about five to six months, the struggle after that was really difficult. I was in and out of hospital constantly.
Learning how to walk and write again.
I faced a lot of trouble growing up, especially with school and I found it hard to relate with people. I had to learn how to walk and write again and I found it hard to cope with the staring and the nasty comments. People would look at me in a way that made me like feel like an outsider. I lacked so much confidence and I always tried to cover up my face. I would also wear long sleeves, even in the summer, because I was so scared about receiving unwanted attention.
Now, I am 28 and I am more confident and stronger. I feel really good about myself because I have learnt to accept my scars and I feel proud of them. My sisters have helped and supported me and I have found help within the Katie Piper Foundation. Through them, I have met so many other survivors who have motivated me through my journey.
I am now a data entry assistant and I’m also doing a teaching assistant course.
My scars show and remind me of how strong I am. I am proud to say I am a burns survivor.