Esther’s Story

I sustained my burn injury in 1998 at the age of 8, it was roughly a 25% flame injury to my face, neck, chest, abdomen and both upper arms. I was in hospital for a few weeks. For almost a week, I was in a coma due to inhalation and swelling to my face. After that, I was having dressing changes twice a week.

When I saw myself in the mirror for the first time after a few weeks, I was shocked! I remember once, I saw a picture of me with my scar and I tore it into pieces. I was generally comfortable with my burn scars until I saw a reflection of myself or someone pointed out my scars – this made me feel less confident.

After my hospital discharge, I had both surgical and scar therapy management. I have had skin grafts, scar revision and I wore pressure garments for a few months, although the recommendation was for a year.

Because my burn injury happened at such a young age, my early teenage years involved one hospital appointment after another for silicon dressings and the face garment I had to wear for most of the day.

I was fortunate enough to have amazing support around me, however, there were times where I felt alone because no one ever understood how I really felt. I had to go through a process to come to terms with it, my scars will be with me for the rest of my life and that is ok – they are part of me but not all of me.

It was not an easy process but it was worth it. I had a few weeks of counselling which was helpful but ultimately, I felt I had to choose whether I wanted to live with a victim mentality and I chose to erase the victim mentality from my mind-set.

My faith in God also helped because I was reminded of my identity and the fact that he has a plan for me which is powerful. Regardless of my outward appearance, I still had my destiny and goals to attain. With this in mind, I had no excuse but to achieve all that I am created to accomplish – the only obstacle in my life is my mind-set.

Since then, I have achieved several things like setting up businesses, working abroad, engaging in my community with my church, volunteering as a burns peer supporter, now working as a Senior Nurse and I recently got married! At age 30, I am just getting started, my best is yet to come because I am a woman with a vision on a mission to bring the change I want to see in my generation and to leave a legacy for the generations after me, I am Esther!