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

Burn Survivor Kylie's Story

Hi, I'm Kylie and this is my story.

My story begins when I was burned over 15 years ago. I was only 15 months old at the time.

My sister and I had always been fond of playing in the kitchen, even though we had been told and roused on millions of times before, mainly because our mother was in there and we enjoyed her company.

My 2 and a half year old sister and I were playing in the kitchen when we knocked mum, who had just picked up the boiled kettle. The boiling water was spilled all over me from head to mid torso.

Mum quickly filled the bath and sat me in it. She had to warm it up because I was going blue. She didn't know in then (1990) that she wasn't supposed to remove clothing or that it was supposed to be running water. She then wrapped me in a towel and sped me down to the local hospital, which was alot quicker than the ambulance service because we only lived in a small country town in Australia, and our house was located only one block away.

Yet the ambulance was sent anyway to transport me to Dubbo, a half hour trip away where I was to be airlifted to Campertown Hospital in Sydney.

When I was there I was immediately taken into intensive care because of my burns at such a young age.

It was confirmed that I had third degree burns to over 27% of my body. I did get burned on my face and head but luckily it was only superficial, it only went red. I was in hospital for 6 weeks and had to wear a neck brace and pressure garments, and I also had to learn how to walk again, after only having to have learned to walk only a couple of months before the accident.

This story is as close to what happened as possible, as I couldn't remember, this is what my mother told me.

But in 2002 when I was 13, I was back to hospital for skin grafts to the inside of my right elbow, a bit further up the inside of my arm and about the joint of my armpit, they used the zig-zag technique on these. So now I was back in hospital, after 12 years, only this time I was in the Westmead Children's Hospital. And this time, funny as it may seem, little snippets of memories came back from the plane trip and the bath.

And now I knew the excruciating pain (although not to its fullest extent) of this kind of operation. The donor site was from my right thigh. (The donor sites for my original grafts were three from each thigh.) I was in hospital a week and had to go back every 2 weeks for a couple of months (this was a 12 hour trip there and back).

But while I was there I met a little girl who made it all better. She was the spitting image of me when I was initially burned. Almost the exact same spots, third degree, and a little, chubby, cute face. This made me realise (as I had depression at the time and had had it for a number of years) that we were lucky and that a little girl needed role models to look up to for support and see that just because they are burned and have scars does not mean that they do not deserve to live the life they want.

So as I am about to go for some more skin grafts on the 28th of October, I look back and reflect on how I have handled this situation that has been thrown at me and think myself lucky, as I am alive, achieving beyond belief and have a loving boyfriend of 3 years. So to every burn survivor out there, good luck, life is what you make it and remember the old saying "It's what's on the inside that counts".

Kylie - Burn Survivor

Copyright © Kylie (October 2005) All Rights Reserved.