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Burned in the Bath, a Burn Survivor’s Story

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As part of National Burn Awareness Day on the 19th October we’re highlighting Burn Survivor Stories, here is John’s story…

At the age of eight I suffered 55% burns. After years of rehabilitation I am currently a Junior Doctor following my dream to become a Burns Surgeon. Here is my story.

My Accident

It was a ritual in our house to have an evening bath. We always ran the hot water first before turning on the cold. On one November night, it was my job to turn off the hot water. I slipped on a puddle of water on the floor and fell into the bath. It was boiling. I screamed for help and after what seemed like forever my Mum ran up the stairs and got me out.

I was in hospital for 2 months. I had several operations and required two weeks in intensive care. Those 2 months were the hardest I have ever had in life. I was always in pain and missed my family. But it wasn’t just tough for me; it put a lot of strain on my parents. I have 4 other siblings and the responsibilities of work, childcare and visiting me in hospital 30 miles away was tough.

Life with Burns

Recovering from major burns was tough both physically and mentally. I had over ten years of follow up, which included further operations on scars. Going back to life was very tough. I was bullied a lot and was very conscious when leaving the house.

I was well looked after by the hospital and my family. As time passed I learnt how to deal with my burns and people’s reactions. Once I had fully accepted what had happened I became a lot less self-conscious and a lot happier.

Becoming a doctor

I spent a lot of my childhood going in and out of hospital. The team at the hospital become my family and I really looked up to them. They gave me my life back and the best way to pay them back is to do the same for others. As I missed a lot of school, I had a lot to catch up on but I worked hard and put the hours in.

I am currently a junior doctor and I absolutely love my job. My accident was a stupid mistake that could have very easily been prevented. However my scars have made me the person I am today, they are a constant reminder of how precious life is and that with a bit of hard work anything is possible.

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