"Shark attack...." "Volunteer firefighter..."
"Saved a dog from a burning house..."
...are just some of the things I use to say when a stranger asked me "what happened?" The real story is... I defeated whatever tried to kill me, as a six month old baby. And what tried to kill me is our everyday cup of joe. That's right - coffee. Now you see why I was inclined to make up stories. ;-)
Before this incident matured into "my story" it was and still is my mothers story. A story that forever changed and altered lives of two women. My mother, who you'll probably hear me mention quite a few times in my blog, is absolutely the most selfless woman I know. I call her My Hero for many reasons. She is a fighter on another level.
As a young mother she had to deal with the consequences of the following: Friday the 13th, April 1984 in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Exactly 6 months from my birthday. My mother made every day's usual - turkish coffee and had intentions to enjoy spring sunny morning. She set the coffee on the table and walked towards the balcony to direct a delivery person what to do with the big truck full of crap - yes literally it was some kind of garden soil (#djubar). She saw me follow her in a walking stroller but since I couldn't make it past the door I turned around and decided to flip the tray of hot coffee onto myself instead. My mother immediately put me under the cold running water, took my baby clothes off and called for help to be taken to the hospital. At the local hospital they have given her pediatric IV to feed me with a spoon and sent her to another hospital in Croatia where I was hospitalized for two months.
During my hospital stay doctors couldn't guarantee my life due to high fever nor could they guarantee that I will be able to walk normal. My first words were under hallucination. 1984 in 3rd world country, no skin grafts, I could only imagine the conditions and my parents battle. They predicted that my right leg would be much shorter than my left leg. My mother was advised to do daily stretches and exercises with me for years. She said she didn't have to as I was on top of it on my own; very active baby that started walking at 9 months.
I don't remember any of this, nor do I remember the pain which is a good thing. But I do remember childhood battles and self-acceptance. All I can say is that I am beyond grateful to be here today to share my story with you.
July 13, 2017
-Indy, Burn Survivor