Survivor's Stories



We are not victims, we are survivors!

Below are true stories of burn survivor's. I hope you these stories raise public awareness for burn survivors and survivors in general to let the world know who we are, what we went through and let us become a light in the dark for those people in need of that light.

 

























My name is Tony Yarijanian I am 39, and I am from Los Angeles, CA, U.S.A.

I am the founder of Survivor's Hope and also a Burn Survivor. In 2004, I was in an explosion accident. I had 3rd degree burns over 90% of my body. Doctors gave me 1% chance of survival. Miraculously I survived and God gave me a second chance of life. I am very grateful for that and I felt that I had to give something back to the community. I started writing a book, making a documentary film, a website, and started the Survivor's hope org. My goal is to raise public awareness for burn survivors and survivor's in general to let the world know that we are not victims but we are Survivor's.


My name is Chris James I am 26, and I am from Los Angeles, CA, U.S.A.

In November of 1998, I was burned during a High School science experiment. The explosion left me with burn scars over 40% of my body, including my face. Fortunately, I was aided in my recovery by a loving family and supportive friends. With their help and my own determination, I recently received a degree in Psychology at U.S.C. I feel burn survivors are uniquely blessed with a profound understanding of humanity in a society obsessed with vanity.


My name is Michelle D. Rosado I am 33, and I am from Hollywood, FL, U.S.A.

I am a survivor of the World Trade Center attack of 9/11. I was on the 95th floor of Tower 2 when the first plane hit. I'm now writing a book describing my journey of healing since. My life mission is to share words of hope and awareness to those whose hearts are open to it.




Jodie, age 5 from Ireland.

In the beginning of March my ex, and the father of my two young daughters, came home with a chemical lice solution as the girls had been in contact with friends who had lice and had picked up a couple. It wasn't necessary, and as we are into organic products that are chemical free, I could hardly believe that he thought it was necessary. When he came in with it, my instincts were to tell him not to use it, but he was adamant and that we would do the natural thing after. I had to go out and left him to it. God only knows how I wish I had been firmer in my stance. About an hour later I received a phone call from him and could hear... Read more here


Alden Alejandrino, age 32 from Talisay City, Cebu, Philippines.

I was burned Dec. 11, 2005, when an LPG tank exploded. Almost 70-80% TBS got burned. My medication is still on going since Dec. 11, 2005 until present, which is the weekly change of dressing done at the hospital. My friends and families are my inspiration, I know God has purpose. Please help me.


My name is Ethan I am 6, and I am from Thousand Oaks, California, USA.

Hi My name is Sara my six year old boy survived 37% third degree burn we are very touched by your story.. He would love to meet you.



My name is Alexis Chapman. I am 32 from Columbus, Ohio, USA.

I was burned, 20% , in a devastating house fire in March of 2007. I suffered burns on my entire left hand, arm and side of neck. I have made it my mission to advocate for Burn Survivors and to aid in Social Reintegration through Education. I am a firm believer that the fire changed my life -- for the better.


My name is Leondra. I am 20, and I am from Pittman, FL, USA.

When I was 5 years I was involved in a house fire in which my youngest sister died in and was severely burned over 90% of my body in efforts to save her. For those who say that beauty is only skin deep, they are right and burned skin is the most beautiful skin in the world. So for all of you who are brining sexy back one graph at a time, no worries. It's all to your benefit.


My name is Brehon Matthews. I am 19, and I am from Chesapeake, Virginia, USA.

When I was only 10 years old the neighborhood bully forced me into coming into my garage, right before he told me to come inside he deliberately told me to go get hair spray out of my house, when I arrived back with the toxic fumes. He was 13 at the time so he had all the intentions in the world. As time proceeded he pushed me to the wall and light the flame on a lighter and sprayed hair spray towards it, which made a huge torch. I immediately ran out of the garage in flames gasping for air, luckily my sister was on the porch listening to the CD player, so she alarmed my older siblings and I soon fell down which smothered the fire. I was sent to the Shrniers institute in Cincinnati, Ohio and was treated there.


My name is Keith Barker. I am 55 and from Campbell River, BC, Canada.

Sometimes there is a bit more to a burn survivor's story than just being a burn survivor going through life, with physical and emotional scars.
At the age of 9 going through an ordeal like that, is unimaginable for most. Now 55, I grew up in Campbell River, BC. When my burn occurred, there were 3 of us at the start; one was 10 and his brother was my age 9 who decided to play down closer to a small swamp behind my friend's house. My friend had gotten a quart jar of gasoline from his Dad's basement, which was about 3/4 full. Finding some sticks we used them as spears, by dipping them in the gas trying to light old stumps on fire. When the flame on the end of the spear went out we would dip them in the gas and light them up again. Read more here



My name is Justin. I am 18, from Cincinnati, OH, USA.

I was in a campfire accident, trying to use gasoline to stoke the fire, it blew up in my face. The nozzle to the gas tank caught on fire so I threw it and when it hit the ground the gas sprayed up my right arm, right side of my neck, head, and most of my face. I was left with 3rd degree burns. My arm scarred up but you can hardly tell by looking at my face. I too want to help other who have to go through this. I am trying to start a donation at my school, OAK HILLS HIGH SCHOOL in CINCINNATI, OHIO. It has about 3500 students so I think I can help, with their support of course.


My name is Connor. I am 16, from England, United Kingdom

Hi my name is Carol, my son Connor who is now 16 was staying overnight at his friends house last year when they decided to mess about with petrol. during this moment of madness Connor was set alight. He sustained horrendous burns of 3rd and 4th degree to 90% of his body. He has just been discharged from hospital after spending 11 months and 2 weeks in the Burns Centre at the RVI Hospital in Newcastle upon Tyne. He was on many occasions given no chance of survival, but has amazed doctors, family and friends and is doing really well now. He suffered so many other complications due to his injuries, kidney failure, collapsed lungs, duodenal ulcer and countless infections. All of which threatened Connors life each time.... Read more here



My name is Deirdre. I am 27, from Sligo, Ireland

When I was 6 weeks old a kettle of boiling water fell on me and scalded 80% of my body in 1st, 2nd and 3d degree burns. I was on life support for 2 weeks and they turned off the machine to time my death, but I took a breath. I have had roughly 40 operations from skin graphs to moving muscles from my back to my arms and reconstruction work. I'm unsure if I am one of the youngest people to survive such a bad burn ever but I was suppose to die. There is no medical reason for me surviving, but 27 years later I am happily married with 2 children.



My name is Andrea Grant. I am 18, from Jacksonville, Fl, USA

I Am A Burn Survivor I Was Burnt In A Gas Explosion Aug 14, 2001. Here is my story...
On Aug 14,2001 At 3:30 PM My brother age 11 at the time and I age 8 were coming home from school. Usually we wait outside of our home until my oldest sister got off her bus. The wait wasn't that long maybe 5 to 10 min.. On this particular day we had a key, so we went inside. When walking in our home my brother and I smelled gas, yet at that age didn't understand really why or what to do. So we proceeded to our regular routine. Once we flicked the light switch to kitchen, the kitchen and living room area blew up (dragon like). Knocking down a wall that became our exit out, Help from neighbors kept us calm until fire and rescue got there. (We Had A Gas Stove) Later... Read more here


Yelena Dordzhyieva, age 26 from Royalton, OH, Couyahoga

My daughter, Yelena Dordzhiyeva was 7 years old when she burned herself by playing matches in 1991 in Russia. Her dress caught on fire and she sustained very bad 3rd degree burns which were life-threatening. In 1993-94 she was a patient at the Shriner's Hospital in Boston, MA and went through three reconstructive skin graft surgeries. My daughter Yelena Dordzhieva graduated Nursing School with honors and received "Heart of Nursing" award in recognition her compassionate nature. Now she works as a Registered Nurse at Cleveland Clinic. I am proud of her. The tragedy changed our family's lives and through the sufferings we found God. We came empathic and strong. We love to help people.

This poem I dedicate for my daughter Yelena and all burn survivors.... Read the poem here



Anonymous. Looking for support group, please email me at Javkin@yahoo.com.

Hi, I found your website while looking for a support group for the kind of abuse that I had, and I thought maybe you could help me out with that. You might be interested in hearing about the abuse I experienced, because so far I haven't been able to find anyone with the same case. What happened was between ages one and a half and three years old. I was left with a baby sitter during every weekday as my parents worked. Every single day it seems, this woman, who it turns out was into occult type stuff like black magic, would lock me in a dark closet and tell me the devil was in there, and of course I believed her completely at that age, and I would get so scared I would go... Read more here


Miriam Rodriguez, age 19 from Oxford, North Carolina, USA

It was January 5th 2001 5:30 am there were 7 people in the house and my grandma always got up at 5 to shower and to fix breakfast for me my sister, my two cousins and my grandpa, uncle but how little did we know that my grandma while in the shower saw the house burning while the rest of us were sleeping. I hear my grandpa screaming for me but I didn't know what was going on so I remember I was aiming at the door my sister still asleep so I made no noise as soon as I touch what I think was the knob it was hot after that the door opened. I remember touching a leg and now that I think about it I think it was my grandmas leg...
Read more here



Alexander.

Hey man I just wanted to say that you give hope more than you may know! I just found out that a good friend of mine's husband just had an accident at work...he is right around the same age as you were when you had your accident ( maybe a year or two younger)...fell into a vat of liquid that was over 300 degrees and has 90% of his body covered in 3rd degree burns. He is currently in a coma but I believe I heard that he may have just started breathing on his own. He married his high school sweetheart and they have 1 son. I just wanted to say that you have proven that it is possible to not only survive such an event...rather that you can come out and start living life again. Thank you for your inspiration brother!



Wanda Brownell, age 40, from Fine, New York, USA

My son Eric Pickering is a burn survivor. It was November 18 2008. And it would change life as my family and i knew it...
It was a Tuesday, I remember this so vividly. We were settling down for the night, and i kept telling my husband i could smell something funny, like a smell after you poor water on a fire to put it out. We searched the area of the house where we had our wood stove and fire place, we found nothing. About an hour later, about 10:30 pm, I got up again to check out the smell, it wasn't going away.... Read more here



Jenna Martinez, age 25, from Pearson, Georgia, USA

My name is Jenna Martinez. On December 9, 2006 my then 1 1/2 years old daughter Brissa Vargas got burned with boiling water to just about 3/4 of her face, left shoulder, and down the middle of her stomach. She has now recovered with minor scaring from that horrific day, me and her father will always remember. Now, Brissa is a 5 year old. She is a fun and loving child, with a full of life ahead of her. She competes in many Pageants & wins most of them. Brissa wants to reach out to burn victims. If she can do it, so can they. She doesn't let her burn scars get in her way.

My name is Jessica Patterson. I am 18, and I am from Braham, MN, USA.

I was burned on Nov. 30 2009 from a gasoline campfire. My boyfriend at the time through gas on a fire and it mushroomed up and hit my face and my arm. My body was 30% burned with 2nd and 3rd degree burns. If I hadn't stayed awake the whole time I was rushed to the hospital I was told I would of died. They gave me an estimated time of 4 or more months I would be in the hospital. I ended out come home on Jan. 18th of 2010. I had 2 surgeries all together. I was called the miracle child in my unit, due to the fact that I had a very slim chance of living, but I pulled through. It was a hard trip for me due to the fact that I knew I would be getting different looks now that I was burned. But I accepted that I was going to be different and just kept faith that everything would turn out all right. I was welcome back to school and home with open arms. Now I know how important it is to be yourself I know that I'm beautiful on the inside and out. I hope I can be an inspiration to many others. My advice to others live life like you normally would, yes people are going to stare but people stare everyday, and if they truly want to be in your life they will be.

Megan Blackburn. Age 18. Missouri USA

I'm Megan. After finding this website and reading all the stories about burn survivors, I am truly amazed at how much people can pull through and survive traumatic things such as major burn injuries. Anyone who has experienced a burn injury must know that they are such a strong human being! I myself was burned when I was only one year old. I was put into extremely hot water, and suffered from 3rd degree burns on the lower half of my body, and was not expected to survive through the night. The next morning, I was still living and breathing. I went through many surgeries, and spent many days, weeks, and months in the hospital. Later in the recovery I developed a severe skin infection that took over my burns, and almost lost my life once again, but I ended up pulling through that also. I don't look at my scars as a flaw, but as a stamp of strength. It makes me who I am. I am now living a happy life. I cannot give enough thanks to my mom, who is absolutely the one who helped me survive through it all and who also had to stay strong through the whole experience. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger, right?



Kevin Smith. Age 58. Tucker, Georgia USA

Back in 1966, my Dad, Harvey K. Smith, was involved in a flash fire at 1900 degrees F. He was burned over 70% of his body, and, given what was available at the time, given little chance of survival, let alone use of his hands or legs. It was by God's grace that he survived(49 skin grafts)and the infection that follows all massive burns. This also happened in CA, city of Compton I think. Your story is pretty powerful, but so is my Dads', especially considering the time it occurred 2/8/66. Thanks for allowing me to share.


Hi, I am Simone, age 16 from Perth, Western Australia

When I was 2 years old I happened to be in the kitchen while my father was cooking dinner. He had just boiled water and cooked potatoes when he was about to turn to the sink and drain them, when I fell and he tried to catch me. Unfortunately as he did this he poured the boiling water all over my body. I was left with third degree burns all over my back arms and legs and stayed in hospital for over a month. Although it was a horrible thing I'm kind of glad this happened, I think it shaped me into being the kind of person who is grateful for the life I have. I also still really like potatoes.

My name is Scott Bowlan. I am from Sunapee N.H. USA and I am 47.

I am a pyrotechnics engineer and have been developing special pyrotechnic products for customers for 5 years, from smoke grenades to thermite fire starters to large 10 pound military flares. We were at that time developing a new military magnesium signal flare that was designed to float down under parachute from a high powered rocket and burn at 1 million candlepower. We shut the shop down in Jan 08 due to the economy. We had to bring back the box of 10 pounds of flares and had then stored in a 10 x 10 room. I was in the room at the back end of the room when the flares auto ignited. This auto ignition was caused by moisture being absorbed by the magnesium. The 10 pounds of flare pellets went up with in 30 seconds. I had to walk through the flames to escape. The burn temp of these flares was around 5,000 degrees F. and burns bright white like the sun. I was exposed maybe for 5 seconds and suffered 3rd. degree burns over 40% of my upper body, mainly my back and arms and shoulders while blocking my face with my arms. I spend 5 weeks in a induced coma in Boston and left to the rehab in Concord week 6. They claim it was imposable to walk away from that type of fire but I say you go when your time is up.



Hi, I am Michael Sullivan, age 26, from Cuyahoga Falls, OH, United States of America

I fell asleep driving home from work one night, totalled my car and was trapped in the driver's seat when my engine caught fire. A truck driver passing by stopped and pulled me from my burning car before it exploded. I am thankful that I only had 3rd degree burns from my right knee down. I am currently recovering and learning how to walk normally again. Slowly but surely I'll be back at it. Burn nurses and doctors are angels.



Hi, I am Taunya Anderson.

I am a mom of a burn survivor, my son was 13 when he was burned from a gasoline explosion at a wrecking yard, he suffered 3rd degree burns to 50%, he is burned from the waist up to his cheeks, front and back. He was burned in 2008 and it still doing at least 2 surgeries per year, he just finished #24. I was amazed at your photos, I can't believe how you look like you were never burned, I am wondering what the degree of your burns were, I would like to give my son (now 16 almost 17) hope so he will decided to continue having procedures done. Thank you for what you are doing, I too would like to start an awareness program, I fully believe God has given my son an incredible testimony! His injury was due to static electricity and no one seems to be very aware of that, there were 510 static elec. gas explosions in 2009 in NY, how many more do we need before action is taken, I would like to take that action and make people aware of this seemingly innocent danger! We live in PA, and have treatment in Pittsburgh. Thank you again for your courage and determination.



Dianna DeRaimo, Age 27, from Belvidere IL, USA

On Feb. 7th I woke up to the sound of my fire alarm. When I opened my bedroom door there were flames in every portion of the house. I ran into the fire trying to find my 4 year old son. After a few minutes I realized I could not stay there, and went outside. The ambulance came and took me to the hospital. I later found out I had burnt 60% of my body (3rd degree). When I finally awoke from my coma I was unaccepting of the condition I was in. My younger son had died in the fire, and I was certain I was going to leave the hospital in the next week or so, go back to work, and take care of my older son, who had been at school when the fire started. After time I realized I was not going home soon. I healed quicker than expected, and had most of my entire torso, arms, and hands grafted. I finally left the neuro ICU in the middle of March, and was sent to a rehab facility to help me get mobility back. I couldn't walk, or feed myself. After about a month and a half at The rehab hospital I was discharged, and went to live with my mom while continuing therapy for the next 3 months. It is September now, and I have since returned to work, and coping day by day the the emotional trauma, and ups, and downs of everything that has happened. I look to a brighter future with continued healing, and hopes of some surgeries, and treatments that will help put me back closer to where I was before.


Joy Campbell, Age 52, from Baltimore, Maryland, USA
My name is Joy Campbell. When I was 6 years old my mother was serving hot tea to myself and two of my friends. Mom had just bought a new dining room set with swivel chairs. I was talking and playing spoons on the table while she was carrying the tea from the kitchen to the dining room. I hit her arm with the swivel chair and she accidentaly spilled the tea on my arm. I had a flannel nightgown on and it adhered to the burned skin. Mom cut the nightgown off and I started screaming because the skin was tearing off with the nightgown. We lived in a rural area and the nearest hospital was 25 miles away. There were no burn units in the hospital at that time, and I saw an ER doctor who looked at the burn and said I had a third degree burn on my upper arm. He cleaned the wound, and put a yellow salve on it. My mom had to change the bandage for one month twice a day, and put the healing salve on the burn. I was lucky the tea didn't go over my head and shoulder area. I had a scar for years on my left arm, and recently had skin cancer removed from the same area as the burn was. I am one of the lucky ones. To this day that area of my arm is very sensitive to heat and extremely cold temperatures.



My name is Jeremiah, Age 27, from Grand Junction, Colorado, USA
I was burned on Oct 22, 2009 in a rig flash fire. I was on fire for about 15 seconds. I had 3rd and 4th degree buns over 43% of my body. Both of my hands were 4th degree burns thankfully all I lost was my little fingers. My arms, calves and face all required grafted skin. I returned back to work after 9 months. I was very weak, it was very hard. Now I am back to full duty and as strong as I was before the accident. I dealt with the cold of Colorado winter and the heat of Cisco Utah summer.



My name is Jeremy Sistrunk, Age 27, from Columbia, USA
On October 27, 2010 I was working on an oil and gas well for a company, I had the well flowing oil and gas and the company man that was over the job asked me to do a little more wore on the well. So me and my crew did and the gas from the well got into the engine of the rig I was on and caused it to explode. I was the only one that got hurt and I recieved 2nd and 3rd degree burns on my face and arms. I am very thankful for my loving wife that helped get me through the recovery process. I have never been in the hospital a day in my life until that day. I got a 2 ambulance rides, and a helicopter ride in the same day. I was treated for my burns in Birmingham, Al, UAB burn center.



My name is Justin.
I share similar story to Keith. I was 12 when I was burned. I went with a friend after school. Along the way to his house we stopped by his friends place. They demonstrated a can of gasoline and talked about playing a game. Of course at that age we are guilable about dangers and we want to go along with whatever the group are into. So there we were, hockey sticks and a ball. The ball was dipped into a can of gasoline and after the ball would be passes around. The can eventually was lit on fire. Panicking on the high flames I wanted to get out of the way. However I soon realised I was on the path of disaster as the friend's friend suddenly kick the can. The can hit my face and all I could recall was to roll roll roll. I recall others rolling me as well. Obviously in shock I was headed down a path to the nearby water. I was told to jump in as the heat was just unbearable. Soon after ambulance arrived and as you said to see the look of your parents - in this case it was my mom. She was strong but of course I could only imagine what was going through her mind. I always recall apologizing to her while in the hospital but her love was to be strong for her child. To this day I always remember that. A child that would like to make his parent proud. I now accept what my parents did to keep me strong to this day. A survivor. Someone who finds joy in interaction with others. Thanks for sharing Keith...it is a story we both perhaps may relate with. Godspeed.


My name is Kelsay P. I am 12 years old and from Cherokee, Iowa USA.

I was living a perfect life. I never got hurt. I never got sick, I felt invisible. That all changed in the blink of an eye.

On May 13, 2003, at 12:00 pm I was fine. This day was perfect. It was about 80 F, the sun was shining, there was no clouds in the sky, and it was my last day in Preschool. At noon, I was at preschool, my preschool graduation. I got home from that at about 1:30. My mom and I played around awhile at home. Then my mom asked if she would like if she light a candle. I first said no, but after she got the candle out I totally agreed. The candle she wanted to light was the sweetest-smelling candle ever. The candle smelled like cinnamon apple pie right out of the oven. The candle was blue in color and the flame was a magnificent orange, yellow, and blue glow. She only had one rule... Read more here

Hi, I'm Kevin Singer, age 30 from Snohomish, WA United States
Police marvel driver survived, By Ian Ith. Seattle Times Eastside bureau, BOTHELL
An 18-year-old Snohomish man remained in critical condition yesterday after a weekend car crash that left police marveling that the young man survived. Police are seeking witnesses to help reconstruct the accident. Kevin Singer yesterday was in the intensive-care unit at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with a broken pelvis and burns on his face and arms, hospital spokesman Larry Zalin said. Singer was driving his family's station wagon north on the Bothell-Everett Highway near 214th Street Southeast about 5 p.m. when the car sped through an intersection, skipped onto a traffic island, smashed into a signal pole and caught fire, Bothell police Officer Elmer Brown said. Firefighters pried Singer from the car and airlifted him to Harborview. "It's hard to believe, but he lived," Brown said. "After viewing the wreckage, it was truly amazing." A few witnesses said the car was going about 60 mph in a 45-mph zone, Brown said.
This is how I got hurt I am fine now and my mind is as strong as ever I am not sure how I did it but I did.


Name: Anonymous

I have always believed in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as you may recognize as part of the constitution. However, this somehow apparently does not apply to harassment. The laws are very weak and not taken very seriously. I believe identity theft was once thought of as “no big deal” either in the beginning. I feel that harassment laws need to be viewed as a prelude for escalating behavior. Why is it that bullying is only thought of as a childhood epidemic? Bullies come in all shapes, sizes, and ages.... Read more here


Name: John Wurdinger

My name is John Wurdinger and I am a Menlo Park Firefighter. 25 years ago the Harris family suffered major burns from a fire in their home. 25 years later Patricia & Jamella tell their story. Their story is now live and can be seen on our You Tube Channel:
www.youtube.com/user/MenloParkFirefighter
as well as our Facebook Page:
www.facebook.com/MenloParkFirefighters

My name is Thembi, age 35 from Middelburg Mpumalanga, RSA

Set alight with petrol by myboyfriend.

In 2010 march I received 3rd degree burns all my body mostly my face. My life since then has changed. Because of the scars I have low self esteem. My life revolves around work and indoors because I just can't stand people staring. I went trough skin grafting and was hospitalised for a year. Please, I need support emotionally. I just wish one day my scars will lessen.

My name is Rashawnda, age 27. I am from Detroit Michigan, USA. I am a mother of three children ages 8,5 & 9 mos. I was badly burned 97% 3rd degree burns. I was hospitalized at the Shriner"s Hospital in Cincinnati Ohio for 9 painful months I had over 40 surgeries & skin graphs. This is how everything started I was at my mother house on the east side of Detroit. I visited her every week end I was living with my grandmother so I went to my mother house to help her with my little brother & sisters because my mother was on drugs (Crack Cocaine) my mother was using candles for lights & a Kerosene Heater for heat. So that night my 2 sisters ask me & my mother can they go to a sleep over for a little girl birthday party around the corner I told them yes & later that night my mother asked me can I watch my little brother & se would be back she was leaving with a friend. It was late around 12:00 am so I laid down on a mattress on the living room floor with my brother so he could go to sleep but I end up falling asleep with him all i can remember is... Read more here

Sean, age 22, from Laramie, WY, USA. I don't remember the fire. I was only 30 days old when the house caught on fire. From that point, life just seemed to always have these scars. I remember wishing my older brother had survived because then maybe all of life would have been different. My mom suffered burns on her back and arms because she had saved my life. I suffered 3rd degree burns on my face and some on my hand. For a long time, I was angry about the scars that I could not hide. I know my mom and dad always told me to not be ashamed of my scars, but how could I not. I loved me mom, but knew sometimes she did not like others seeing her scars. I thought they were beautiful because she saved my life. Yet, I saw myself as someone who could never escape the labels of scarred or burned. I hated that so much and for a long time was without hair on one side. Shriner's was a godsend and helped me so much. I now can grow hair and in some ways meeting other children who also were survivors was a blessing. Now I am 22 and... Read more here

Kathie
Kathie, age 44, from Abbotsford, BC Canada.

I was in a house fire on November 5,09, at which time I lost my home and everything in it, my cousin, two dogs and a cat, and I received 3rd degree burns on both arms, whole bottom part of my back, my face, and head. In case your wondering... yes, I did end up getting skin grafting done to the parts of my body that were burnt the worst ( they took skin from my legs )... The pain I went through was the worse pain I have ever felt in my life... To tell you the truth, at that time, I wish I would have been the one that died in the fire because the pain both mentally and physically was so flipping bad!! But, my daughter and my animals gave me the strength and will-power to live, because I knew as soon as I got out of that hospital I would be able to be with them again, and for that I owe them so much!! They are my life, and every day they make my eyes light up with joy everytime I see their beautiful faces... Read more here

Bradley
Bradley James Lewis, age 29 from Salem Ohio, USA.

On July 15, 2001 I was in a house fire. I was burnt 53 percent of my body in 3 degree burns I had 11 surgeries and spent about 3 months at Akron Children's Hospital's burn unit. I was on life support for about a month of that time. I also had to learn how to walk again. This accident happened on my moms birthday I was getting ready for work when I smelled something and when I opened the door in the basement I got a back draft.

Bradley
Christopher C.; Age: 38, from Roseville, California, USA

My name is Chris Cvitanov I was burned in a motor vehicle accident in 2005. I sustained third degree burns to 50% of my body I was given a 3% chance of survival. My burns were so bad my penis was amputated and lost my left leg above the knee a year and a half later. I was addicted to cocaine for many years and had numerous failed marriages due to my drug abuse. I have since been able to turn my life around and have married my soul mate. I have gained a perspective that I never thought possible. It did take sometime after my accident but through acceptance and giving back my life has forever changed. I currently volunteer at the Fire Fighters Burn Institute and writing a book. Life does have it's up's and downs but it is how we react to those rough times that truly shows our moral fiber. I have to say that my accident horrific as it was has truly made me into the man I thought I always could be.

Bradley
Jayshree; Age: 33, from Durban, Kwa Zulu Natal, South Africa

I was burnt with petrol flames on the 01-04-2009. I was in an accident and well maybe stupidity, but I had poured petrol on the dry grass when it burst in to flames. I would love to hear more stories like Tony's.

 
Evelyn Trevino; Age: 17, from Crawfordsville, IN, USA

When I was nine years old I was with 2 friends and we weren't being the smartest kids. We had told our parents we where going to be with our sisters but we went our own way back to one of the girls houses. We started to mess around with a lighter and hairspray. And its all fun in games till someone gets hurt, i had to learn that that hard traumatizing way. I ended up being the one with a shirt soaked in hairspray and one girl with a lighter. After being the dumb kids we where we, after crying and trying to peel off some shirt that was imbedded into my stomach . We decided another not so smart idea, not to tell our parents like if it would magically go away. I hid my burns for 2 days worst days of my life. The smell of the burned skin with clusters of blisters would not allow me to take my shirt off so i kept piling on shirts. My mother noticed I wasn't eating and I was slumped over in an awkward way. I could not stand straight, after the second night she tried to remove my shirts and discovered something a mother never wants to see. I was immediately taken to the hospital then transferred to Riley's children's hospital. I was in there for a month intensive care burn unit. I can remember everything it use to haunt me now its all I could remember from that year. I had 4 surgeries I suffered third degree burns on my torso. my scars are still there and I did attended a wonderful burn camp every summer since my accident and surprisingly it was the around the same time of your accident. The camp I go to is amazing it really helped with confidence, knowing you wont be made fun of when your in a place where everyone knows what you went through. They make you feel welcome and your just one of the kids there. I attend mark Koopmans Hoosier Burn Camp. I am inspired by your story and amazed of how you recovered. I am so thankful I survived that life changing accident. Thank you for sharing you story and spreading hope and inspiration.

Mercedes Domino. Age: 19 from Auckland, New Zealand

The photo is of me as of 2 weeks ago... My accident happened about 5 months ago... It was Wed 13th February 2013, I was making spring rolls for an early valentines picnic I was supposed to be having with my boyfriend for later in that day. I had shallow fried before and never had a problem, I loved cooking and was confident in the kitchen, not any more. The oil for the spring rolls caught alight and not knowing what else to do I tried to take the flaming pan outside to burn out. In the craziness of everything with my dog and my cat fluffing about I spilled the flaming oil all down my front. I suffered extensive 3rd degree burns down the entire front of my body, face, neck, arms, chest, abdomin and legs. I remember everything that happened, being engulfed by flames, the pain and then the numbness as my nerves burnt, the tightness of my skin, the smell of my burning flesh and hair. I was rushed to NewZealands only burn center which thankfully was in my city. The paramedics were fearful for my life, and to be honest at this stage I didn't care if I died right there, but despite that I found it in me, through the pain and the drugs, to make sure the paramedics contacted my family and my boyfriend so they new what had happened. Being relatively young and healthy before the accident greatly helped my healing, I was only in the hospital for 3 and 1/2 weeks but during that time I had multiple trips to surgery, sometimes more than twice in a day. All just to get me in the best possible condition as quickly as possible. I got on Friday 8th March, and decided I was going to start right back at University on Monday the 11th (having already missed 1 week of the 1st 2013 semester) I study chemistry and on my first day back I had a chemistry lab session, I couldn't do it, to much chance of burns, but the next lab I pushed through the fear forced myself to do it and I did and all the ones after. I worked my way up to cooking again, although definitely cautious still, I now regularly go to the gym again, my friends accept me and the burns don't bother them at all. I am up at 2 am writing this because I had a bad night and searching for some hope I stumbled upon this site. I feel uncomfortable in my own burnt/scarred skin, even when the burns are covered and no one can see them I feel upset just knowing I am burnt. But on the other hand it is only 5 months after my accident, I still have to wear my pressure garments, I still have very regular visits to the hospital, and the traumatic memory is still very fresh in my mind, and look how far I have come in my day to day life. I am proud of the way I've handled becoming a burn survivor, even if I am ashamed of my burns.
Thank you so much for this site, just telling my story in the hope that it will give someone else hope has helped my so much during this difficult time.

My name is Allyson and I am 30 and from San Diego, California, USA. When I was 20 years old, I was burned in one of the worst wildfires in California's history. October 26th 2003, at 8 am, a fire fighter came to our door and warned my family that the wildfire we had been watching all night had jumped the road, it was 5 miles away, and we needed to leave. My dad ran back into the house and said it's time to go! Everyone out! He then turned around, opened the door to exit the house, and the fire blew inside! In mere moments, the fire went from being 5 miles away, to burning all around us.
Because of how quickly the fire over-ran us, we were forced to abandon our initial evacuation plans and escape in multiple different cars. My parents went in my dad's truck, my brother and sister in his mustang, and I got in the car with a friend who had stayed overnight watching the fire with my family. While driving, the friend I was with, turned the wrong way on the street and crashed down a 45 degree angled embankment. We were surrounded by fire, and had to abandon the car.
I was horribly burned in that moment trying to get back to the road, and we got separated. The friend was picked up by a neighbor and taken to safety.
My brother soon found me on the driveway and guided me to his car. Then my brother, sister and I again tried to escape the fire, but as we were driving, we hit a neighbors car and were thrown into a burning pepper tree...again being forced to abandon the car. My brother was able to get out, and I followed him out the driver side of the car. We tried to coax my sister to follow us, but I believe she was too terrified. She ended up passing away on the back seat. She was just 16 years old.
My brother and I continued to walk to safety, and made it to a local fire station, a little more then a stone's throw from the second car crash. We were loaded to a waiting ambulance, and taken to a nearby hospital for treatment, where our parents later met us. My brother was treated for minor burns on his ear and forehead, then released that day. I was burned 2nd and 3rd degree over 86% of my body, endured a 4 month hospital stay (initially) and over 30 surgeries. I also lost all 10 fingers, parts of my left ear, chin & nose.
There is a lot more detail to this story, but only so much space to write it in. After the fires, and a year of physical recovery for me, I began the long process of emotional recovery. I was able to return to school where I achieved an associates degree, I ended up getting married, and I have a beautiful baby boy!
I've used my story to work as a motivational speaker, in the hopes that it would help people find their way back to a life filled with light.
There is so much unnecessary pain in this world, some is self inflicted, and some is caused by those around us. We need to learn that we are the answer to ending that pain. We have to be leaders in a world that thinks Barbie and Ken are how we ALL have to look! True beauty comes from within, and from those who are brave enough to look for it!

My name is Kristin and I am 22 years old, from Warrensburg, Missouri, USA.
Back in December of 2011 I was at the gas station with a friend. I stood outside of the car with her while she was getting ready to pump gas. She was prepaying and when she took the nozzle out, gas was spraying out and got all over me. Within minutes of being out there, my left arm somehow ignited and I went up in flames. I got myself put out, without help from my friend and only two strangers out of the 30 that were watching, in about 10 minutes. I was rushed to the KU Burn center which was about 2 hours away from home. The police notified my parents and they had to come identify me because I was burned so badly. I suffered 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree burns over 25% of my body, bruised ribs and a collapsed lung. Surprisingly, I was discharged from KU and the rehabilitation center within 2 months of the accident. I was lucky enough to have family and friends supporting me throughout the whole time.

Hi, I am Ann Lewis, 64 from Port Talbot, West Glamorgan, South Wales UK
I was badly burned in 1958, when at the age of 9 I got up one winters morning to find our coal fire almost out. Not thinking I pulled the fire guard from around the fire and stood with my back to it. My little sister screamed and it was only then I realized my nightdress had caught fire. I panicked and ran outside in the snow which caused the flames to accelerate. Fortunately, a gentleman passing the house saw me running around the garden and with his gloved hands put the flames out. I spent over a year in hospital as well as more visits over the years and under went many skin grafts but thanks to two amazing surgeons I am still here. The 2 surgeons were pioneers in the field of the treatment of burns and although they are no longer with us I thank them everyday for giving me my life back. I trained as a nurse, I got married and had 2 beautiful daughters and now have 4 wonderful granddaughters. I feel truly blessed.

 
Troy Hall. Age: 25. From Wellington, Paraparaumu, New Zealand.
Hi my name is Troy Hall and I was a victim of being electrocuted by pylons to 60 percent of my torso. I had been struck twice by 120,000 volt power lines that had me in ICU for over 2 months and in hospital for over 8 months. I shouldn't of been alive, walking, talking, my right arm was suppose to of been amputated. I lost vision in my left eye lost my right ear all a lot to of taken in over the last 2 years so far. Even to this day its hard to deal with mentally and physically which is my reason for putting a little phrase of my story on here for some type of support.

Daron Brunke
Daron Brunke, age: 40, from Athol, Idaho, U.S.A.

In 1982, at the age of nine I was burned over 33% of my body in a gasoline fire at my home. After several skin graft surgeries, I was left with over 60% of my body scarred. I spent a good portion of my life hiding my scars, but I overcame my insecurities, and now I embrace my scars. I work as a model for artists in my area, posing in the nude for figure drawing classes, and sculpture work. WE ARE ALL BEAUTIFUL!!

My scars are as much a part of me as my heart, my mind, and my soul.

Angel Whitehead
Name: Angel Whitehead, Age: 16, from Durham, North Carolina, USA
I was burned when I was 11 on Valentine's Day of 2009. My Dad was cooking dinner for me and my family. My older sister and I had already eaten and were watching TV in my parent's room. My Dad called me in the kitchen to tell me to taste one of the hushpuppies he had just made. It was DISGUSTING, so I threw it away. As I was backing up from the trash can, my Dad was coming forward to the table with more hushpuppies. But he had left the grease in the pan as well. I remember hearing someone say "Watch Out". Just like that, I turned around and grease ran all down my body. Everything after that happened in a blur. i began to scream and hyperventalated. I was traumatized as i saw my skin melting off. The ambulance took 5-10 minutes. When i got in there, i asked if my face had been burned, but they said no. That might have been a way to calm me down. I was burned about 35-40% of my body. This included my right thigh,right arm, right should, part of my back, and the right side of my face. I was treated at the UNC Jaycee Burn Center. I received two surgeries, one for pig-skin grafting, and one surgery for my ear. I remember coming out the skin grafting, dazed and confused. A couple days after the surgery, i went to the bathroom. When i saw my face in the mirror, i almost fainted, because i was so disgusted. All of the hair on my right side was shaved completely off, and my scalp was raw and pink. I remember repeating over and over that i wanted to go home. But i could not go until i could walk on my own without a walker, and i could properly move my right arm. I was released about 2 weeks after I got in. Going home was difficult because I had to adjust to taking all sorts of medicines, and treatments, and i had to keep my burned areas clean, which could be painful. I was home for about 6 weeks until I could return to school. I was so happy when I did.
My life has changed for the better since the accident. I'm a junior in high school now. I am on the honor roll at my school. I have met SO many other teen survivors to connect with, and they are some of my best friends now. I go to several camps, and they teach me techniques on how my keep confidence and self esteem when I'm in the real world. After the accident, i went back to dance classes, where i could express myself freely, and not let anyone judge me. I have been bullied, but i usually brush it off when it happens, because i am not ashamed of who i am or what i look like. I try to make every moment of my life count, and not take things for granted. I always remember that things could have been so much worse. I could have been completely blind or deaf, yet right now, its only partial. I get asked all the time what happened, and when i tell my story, its not a story of sadness, guilt, or shame. It's a story of triumph, and survival. I have gained confidence, self esteem, which is something I didn't have before. I feel more beautiful then ever. I am proud to be a survivor!!!! Be Proud of who you are!!!!

 
Name: Hazel - Age: 38 - From Lusaka, Zambia
I fell asleep with the candle on. Ii woke up to my dogs trying to wake me up and found my hair and shirt on fire. I had 16% 1st and 2nd degree burns on my back and under my left arm. I am a chef so naturally my family thought i had been cooking,but the electricity had gone out due to loadshedding at about 10 pm so I decided to go to the corner store to buy mosquitoe spray. As I opened my gate, I noticed my normally busy street on a Friday night was empty-a stranger came up to me and asked me,sort of in the tone my late father would shout at me in disaproval. He asked me where in the world did i think i was going at that hour and that i should go back inside my house immediately! In shock and fear i went back in, barackaded my doors-didn't realize my dogs had snuck in and lit a candle. I put it on a table, sat on the couch and listened to music whilst waiting for electricity to come back. I slept...and woke up and my whole life had changed. I see the disbelief in peoples faces when they look at my wounds and i tell them it all happened in less than 2 minutes. I've spent 1 month in hospital,was discharged 6 days ago. We're trying to raise funds for a skin-graft. The biggest problem apart from the horrible,intense and awful pain is explaining what I'm going through to family & friends-we live in a culture where depression is frowned upon...and I'm really sad. I thank God that He saved me from whatever may have been waiting for me-the stranger who chased me back in; my wonderful dogs and that I'm alive. I pray to God that I don't need the skin-graft,according to all the nurses who secretly told me-i pray so often for the pain to lessen as pain killers are no longer working-everybody has changed around me but this website is so precious-its made my day!

 
Name: Nils Gjertson - Age: 24 - From Los Angeles, California, USA
Hello, my name is Nils. I am 24 years old and had my accident about 3 1/2 months ago. I was burned in a gas explosion that happened in a garage while working on a motorcyle. I was changing out the fuel lines and decided to take a quick cigarette break. It was during this time when gasoline fumes in the air ignited setting the whole garage on fire. I often beat myself up for being so careless, but these things happen and from this point forward I have told myself to let the past go. Since I was wearing a jump suit to protect my cloths from oil and grease I am lucky to say that 25% of my body was burned when it should have been much more. I received third degree burns to my hands and much of my left arm including isolated areas of my face. The fire stole my physical identity for some time but I am happy to say it slowly has come back.
Reading these stories has helped me so much and sites like these are very inspiring. I wish everyone the best and look forward to the healing process which continues to surprise me everyday
We have all come so far.

Name: Elizabeth Campos, Age: 43, from Palmdale, California, USA

I was burned at about 6 mths old. My life isn't easy. From what I was told I poured hot milk on myself. I try to live a normal life but I am so tired of the stares and questions. There are days when I feel a bit confident then I go out and kids stand and stare at me as if I were the creature from the black lagoon. There goes my confidence. I wear so much make up but it still shows. I am so happy to find a support group. Anyone please feel free to email me and share your story or how you are feeling.

Name: M. Afzal Khalid, Age: 32.
I am a pakistani. live in a very small town of Mianwali.
After my school I got admission in a technical college of Lahore which is a big city of Pakistan. I completed my education as Associate engineer(Electrical)there, and also start a job in a textile factory in Lahore. After one year experience I have a night shift in my factory and I had a really busy one. I repairing a dying machine all night due to some load shedding we the main supply of machine become alive which was not in my knowledge and when I start working after load shedding I got a 11000 kva short circuit right in between my two hands.
I was burned 45% and my hands and neck were badly damaged. After a 2 month treatment in hospital I was not able to move easily at my own my fingers and some parts were stuck. But with the help of ALLAH (God) and my family, I start recovering my self with hard exercises. Slowly I got myself fit without any kind of surgery.
Even now I am working as Derrickman at a drilling RIG. Whenever I go for any job interview I get rejected by the look of my hands and neck. I only make a request to the world that its not important to be beautiful forever so please let burn persons a part of this world. As they are not even burn.

 
Name: Anouk, Age: 25
From New Brunswick, Canada
My mother and I had been out running errands, and I fell asleep in the carseat on the way home. I was 2 years old. My mom went in the house to start supper, and let me sleep in the car, as she could keep an eye on me from the window. As she was preparing supper, one of our dogs started barking frantically. To this day, we still don't know how it happened, but the car caught fire, and I was sleeping inside. My father, my hero, pulled me out of there as fast as he could, but the burns were severe, My neighbours graciously drove my father and I to the hospital, as an ambulance would have taken longer to call. I was rushed to the burn unit at a hospital 2 hours away from home. I spent 7 weeks there and underwent multiple skin graft surgeries. I am left with all my legs, and a part of my stomach scarred. I struggled with this my entire life, and bullies were worse the older I got. I struggled with finding myself, and found that I isolated myself from others a lot. I had few friends, and even fewer people to talk to about my scars. I wore jeans and always kept my stomach covered. Recently, as I was browsing on Facebook, I found a group of people, like all of you, who are also going threw their lives with burn scars. I always saw myself as a victim, I never saw myself as a survivor. I started talking to a woman who was in a fire as well, and she gave me confidence. I finally started wearing clothes that show my scars, and I am not afraid to do so. I still have insecurities, and yes people stare and ask questions, but as she pointed out to me, anyone who can survive something this horrific is pretty ''basass'' and I have to agree with her. I have 2 beautiful children and am about to marry the love of my life, and I want to be someone my children can always look up to. I never want my daughter to feel like she needs to hide anything about herself, and same goes for my son. That is what I decided to share my story. I want them to be proud of their mom, and I want them to know that beauty isn't only skin deep. I am hoping to find other survivors that are in New Brunswick, Canada. I have yet to meet someone in person that I can relate to, and I have a feeling we would have a lot to talk about! I hope my story can help someone out there, and I wish all you survivors the best! It's not an easy road, but we are all on it together, and together we can get through it!

 
Name: Don, Age: 50
From Idaho, Idaho, USA
It's not my story. It's my Dad's he was burned in 1953 to 48% of his body was 3rd degree burned. He was 25 years old. Gas fire from a back firing car. At that time he was the 2nd person to live with more then 45% of his body with 3rd degree burns. He was in the hospital for months. Very few pain killers were given at that time. They would come and remove the dead skin and he said it was like being skinned alive. I wish he would have written his accounts down for me. I turely respected my Dad, for going through hell.
Best wishes. Don Jr.

Name: Hope Hoth
Age: 17
City: Oshkosh
State: Wisconsin
Country: United States
I was in a car accident on March 3 2013. A semi rear ended the suv that carried 7 members of my family. Somehow the car exploded, Six members of my family were killed in this collision. My brother survived with a couple cuts on his head and needed stitches. I was burned sevearly from the waist down. I also broke my spine. I lost myself that day as well as my mom, dad and siblings. I lost nails on my left toes, and also my pinky toe was burnt off. I developed compartment syndrome and they cut portions out of both my legs the left leg leaving a deeper scar. I spent about a month in Lousville University of Kentucky Hospital until I was stable enough to be transferred back to my home state of Wisconsin. I then spent two months in Milwaukee Children's hospital learning how to walk again, learning how to take care of the burns and how to deal with the terrible pain. I spent about a month and a half returning to the hospital every week to receive burn care. I got out of my wheel chair about five months after receiving my injuries, and then the next two months on crutches. I got to go to a camp for burn injured youth and it made accepting who I am so much easier. I learned how to cope with the stares I get, and ways to cope with the pain that as a burn survivor will never go away. Wafs Burn camp saved my life and my hope is to help inspire other burn injured youth by telling my story which involves more than the burns but years of foster care, sexual and physical abuse, and a long road of recovery.

Name: Heidi
Age: 40
City: Saint Joseph
State: Minnesota
Country: USA
When I was 6 years old, I was burned when a handle broke from a tea kettle while my sister was about to pour water for hot cocoa. All of my burns were 3 degree. I endured several surgeries and a 3 month hospital stay. Currently -because of where my scars are located- I am preparing for yet another surgery (34 years later) to release contractures that prevent the range of motion in my left arm and shoulder. Until today, I had never thought to search for other "servivors" because of the delicate nature of my psyce. I am typing through tears, but I am here.



Thank you to all those above who have shared their stories!