Walking into the classroom, a dozen pairs of eyes turned to look at me.
Aged just 6, I knew by now that their skin didn’t look like mine. They had pink toes. I had disfigured, discoloured stubs.
The other kids could play without pain. I couldn’t. As they ran around in the park or watched cartoons on TV, I was going for yet another hospital appointment.
Yet at school, I made friends and their young, open minds meant nobody asked me questions.
By now, I knew what had led me to being the scarred little girl I was.
I’d been taking a nap in our home when the washing machine exploded. It had sent a scorching fireball hurtling straight towards me. Dad had quickly snatched me to safety and Mum had given me CPR before medics arrived. But the damage was already done. The flames had ripped through my body. Now, I wore the scars of that fateful day. ‘Will I always look like this, Mummy?’ I asked. She looked awkward as she smiled – and I knew the answer right then.
As a little girl, I soon learned I was different