An 18-month-old girl was the victim of a terrible accident. The baby’s mother left a cigarette by the girl’s cot, causing it to burst into flames. The baby suffered 90% burns as a result of the fire, but fortunately made it out alive. Terri and her parents’ lives had changed drastically since the unfortunate accident, despite the fact that the young girl had never considered herself to be all that different from anyone else. Actually, she wasn’t; by all accounts, she was a playful girl who always had a smile on her face. Terri was engulfed in a sea of flames, but firefighters were able to save her life. When firefighter Simon initially found her, he thought she was a charred plastic doll. “I have never seen anybody with extreme burns to that degree,” Simon said. “She was so badly burned that I could not extend her neck to resuscitate her, and her body was totally rock hard. No one was expecting Terri to survive.”
Terri was rushed to the hospital, where she was given a small chance of survival. The fire left the young girl with 90% burns on her body. “She was normally such a brilliant sleeper, so I didn’t understand why she wouldn’t settle,” Terri’s mother Julie recalled. “I never smoked in the flat, but this one night I did. I don’t know why, to this day, I did such a stupid thing.” Julie left her cigarette in Terri’s room and walked out, talking all the while to her baby. She recalled thinking that she had decided to let Terri tire herself out, in the hopes that she would fall asleep. But Terri’s screams only grew worse, and Julie realized there was something wrong. She went back into her little girl’s room, only to find it on fire and now filled with black smoke. “I just panicked; I couldn’t see anything but smoke and flames,” Julie said, stating that she instantly dialed 911. “I remember running into the kitchen and getting a bowl, filling it with water, and throwing it into the bedroom, but it made no difference. So many people have said to me since that I should have gone in there and got her. But I panicked.” “When it comes to that night in November, I kind of get a horrible feeling inside. But that’s the only time it really affects me,” Terri said. “What happened does stay with me, but I’m really proud of myself for what I have achieved.” Terri had to spend six months at the hospital. The extensive burns left her with only a minimal chance of survival, and she required more than 40 skin grafts.
What happened two weeks after the fire sent the family spiraling down into even deeper agony. Terri’s mother was wracked with guilt over the tragic incident and decided to leave. After the incident, she couldn’t bear seeing her beloved daughter, and so Paul was left alone with Terri. Though it was very tough, her father was entirely devoted to helping Terri survive and trying to give her as close to a normal life as possible. Her father’s love and support were crucial as she was growing up. Terri became one of only a handful of people worldwide to survive this kind of extensive burn injury to their body. At the age of 12, the girl had gone through more than 60 operations and spent 12 months in the hospital. She didn’t recall anything of the terrible day; her earliest memories include only the agony she went through as surgeons tried to restore her angelic features, one at a time. Sadly, the fire left her with no hair, no nose, no fingers, and only one foot. Terri has had her lips rebuilt since then and will require surgeries for the rest of her life. Against all odds, though, Terri has survived. Though she was left with severe burns and will most likely be disfigured for the rest of her life, she captured the hearts of the people with her positive attitude. Terri’s mother, Julie, left the family when the little girl was still in the hospital after the terrible accident.
They didn’t speak for more than ten years after the fire, and it would be easy to understand if the little girl had felt disappointed in her mom. However, years later, Terri once again showed that her heart was bigger than anyone could have expected. Terri revealed that she had forgiven her mother, and that they had reunited. Terri has been incredibly grateful for all of the support she has received over the years from her friends, family, and people all over the world. Naturally, Terri’s life changed forever with the tragic fire, but she’s never let that affect her. So what has happened to Terri since? Well, one can definitely say that she has done well for herself. Years ago, Terri met her now-husband, Richard, over Facebook. The two hit it off instantly, quickly falling in love, and after a period of time, Terri fell pregnant. She gave birth to her daughter, who is now 5 years old. Terri still gets the wrong messages from trolls on social media because of her appearance, but nothing can stop her from being the inspirational woman she’s always been. “There have been difficult times over the years, going through so many painful operations, but I’m so proud I’ve gotten to this point,” Terri said. There are few people more inspiring than Terri. Her bravery and positive outlook on life are something we all can benefit from, and we wish her and her family all the best in the future. Please share this inspirational story about Terri with friends and family!