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Salamanders Young Burn Survivors > Your Own Stories > April's Story

Burn Survivor April's Story

I am currently 33 years old and I was burned at the age of 2 in 1975. My sister and I were staying with a babysitter at the time of my accident. I was watching TV with the babysitter and I asked if I could use the bathroom. She sent me to the bathroom where my sister, then 4, was taking a bath. As she climbed out of the tub I got the notion to get in. I am left handed and proceeded to turn the hot water on full blast and sit down. I remember the feeling that the water was so hot that initially every nerve in my body registered it to be ice cold. It wasn't until my skin started peeling off in the tub and the true sensation of the steaming water shot to my nerves did I realize something wasn't right. I immediately stood up and climbed out of the tub. The babysitter came to find me standing naked crying while my sister stood looking on. My parents were located and I was rushed to the burn center in Galveston Texas. The trouble with water burns, for lack of a better term, is that even after you have been removed from scalding water the skin continues to cook (like pasta or potatoes) The idea at the time was in order to stop the skin from continuing to cook, you were placed in ice water. Needless to say this was very painful. I spent a large amount of my childhood in and out of hospitals. At the age of 21 I ended my stream of surgeries at the number 13. I took so many antibiotics growing up that I have excessively white teeth (which isn't such a bad thing) but I also tend to be immune to a lot of them now as well. After all my surgeries were done I was down to nothing but the need for cosmetic surgery. I decided to go to the top plastic surgery in my state and was devastated to discover absolutely nothing more could be done to make my legs appear somewhat normal. I always thought some day I would have the chance to be "normal". I have always had a desire to wear cute sandals and sun dresses and shorts. To find out I would always be looked upon as "different" never set well for me.

Life After God's Plan

I look at my life as this is God's greater plan for me. I cannot imagine anyone not believing in God because I am alive and that in itself is a miracle!!!! Although I have endured countless cruel people over the years I have met so many nice people in their place. I have never married but I have had no problems dating or being in relationships. I think God puts special people on earth to humble others. I am one of those people. I have to remind myself a lot of times that I am "different" and if I don't remember there is always someone willing to remind me with a stare. I have had a wonderful friend since the age of 9 who has always accepted me for who I am and often forgets about my scars when handing me a skirt to go out in. My parents always tried to make me feel like I wasn't different by making me wear shorts to school or skirts so I wouldn't hide my scars but rather just put them out there. I don't recommend this to parents. It was not a good approach. I have always found it best to let people get to know me on the inside before letting them know of my experience. I am fortunate that I can hide my scar as so many cannot. Children can be cruel, but as an adult I have found that most people really aren't bothered by my scars when meeting me. If they are I simply remind myself there are a lot of good people out there who aren't. I have lived a full life with no limitations. I thank God everyday for the special people he has sent my way. There is life after being burned.

April - Burn Survivor

Copyright © April (February 2006) All Rights Reserved.