A Hallam burn survivor is inspiring other victims around the world
She wants to help others embrace their scars
Lucy Wilson, a journalism student at Sheffield Hallam, has created her own website of encouragement to help fellow burn survivors share and overcome their experiences too.
After being scalded by hot bath water in a freak accident just before her first birthday, Lucy suffered scarring to a third of her body, and the tips of her fingers and toes were forced to be amputated. Also badly burning her entire right leg , it took less than second for the damage to be done.
Since then, the charity ambassador has had more than 50 operations to combat the damage and still has to undergo skin grafts on a regular basis. However, she is keen to stress that her scars have never stopped her living her life and that the story of her scars makes her the person she is today.
Lucy, originally from Derby, has had to deal with people staring on a daily basis and has even had her scars compared to special effects on Halloween one year.
Lucy says university life has given her a massive confidence boost as she knew she needed to make new friends, but setting up her website ScarGlobal.org has given her the strength to share her own personal journey of survival and offer a voice to other survivors.
“The physical side of it is one thing but the hardest generally is the emotional side. You have to learn to accept yourself and that you are different, I’ve had to find my own demons.
“I want people to see that I embrace my burns, so that they can feel like they can embrace theirs too. My scars tell my story and teach me every day that life is too precious. ”
With a love for travelling and an interest in overseas development, Lucy first got the idea for her website from a witnessing how some orphan children are ostracised from society in Cambodia, saying “If it wasn’t for this place they would almost certainly have been dead.”
Finding very little online on the people she had met, Lucy set up ScarGlobal in September and has been overwhelmed by the positive response it has had ever since.
Receiving heartbreaking stories from South Africa, Asia, the USA and the UK, Lucy has said that it has helped her to picture herself as a burn survivor in another country and shown her that her chances of survival may have been much slimmer.
Realising that the treatment of burn survivors differs around the world, the Hallam student has thrown herself into charity work. Meeting with South Korean charity The Hallym Burn Foundation, she has helped others deal with the stigma of talking about their experiences, hoping to prove that the struggle does get easier. Her ambassadorial roles with The Healing Foundation and Restore are also testament to her message that scars should not dictate the direction of a survivor’s life.
Closer to home, Lucy has been involved with the Humans of Sheffield project, sharing the amazing stories of everyday Sheffielders and the personal battles that they may face.
Acknowledged for her hard work, Sheffield Hallam University has rewarded Lucy with an Inspirational Women’s Awards and her website has been put on the One World Media’s student award long list.
The stories of survival can be read both at ScarGlobal.org and humansofsheffield.com.