Mother-of-four who lost both legs and her fingers after suffering horrific burns in a house fire as a baby says it‘s made her life BETTER because she‘s had to be strong
A mother-of-four who is now a double amputee after suffering horrific burns during a house fire claims the accident changed her life for the better.
Jessica Davies, 33, was involved in a house fire at seven months old. Her burns were so severe across 65 per cent of her body that she needed both legs amputating along with her fingers in a bid to survive.
But Jessica, from Pembrokeshire, Wales, admits the accident actually improved her life and said she is thankful to have been given a second chance.
She is sharing her story for the first time in a bid to raise awareness for burns survivors.
Full-time mum Jessica said: ‘I‘m thankful for the house fire because without it I wouldn‘t have stumbled across my strength.
‘My new pathway in life began in February 1989; there was an accidental house fire in my home which left me with 65 per cent burns to my body.
‘I needed both my legs, fingers, ear, hair and part of my mouth removed as they were too badly damaged.
‘My injuries were so widespread across my body that they struggled to find skin to graft. They managed to take some from my back, but most grafts were taken from my twin sister Ellen (33) who was also in the fire but sustained less burns.
‘Those are the things that I lost, but I gained so much more. I was given a life that has no limits – I have always had a can-do attitude, so anything is achievable.‘
Jessica said she has always had a positive attitude and hopes other survivors can adopt her ‘can do‘ attitude.
She added: ‘Growing up it never really occurred to me that I was different, I felt just the same as the other kids.
‘I would always find a way to overcome obstacles – one of my biggest achievements is learning how to swim.
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‘I live a normal life, it just takes me a little longer to do simple tasks, like going up and down the stairs, which I have to do on my bum.
‘Some aspects of parenting is a bit more challenging – for instance, pushing a pram; that‘s easy, but I have to hang on to the pram for dear life when going downhill.‘
Jessica said her children Tyler-May, 15, Oliver, 14, Elijah, nine, and Ember, 21 months, are her ‘inspiration‘ and ‘with them, every day is an adventure‘.
She added that her friends and family have never treated her any different because of her disability – however this sadly hasn‘t been the case with employers.
‘Despite the fact I am very capable of walking on my prosthetics and using my hands, I have previously been told I will “scare the customers” when applying for a waitress job in the past,‘ she admitted.
‘I was also told by a university lecturer that it would be “too risky” for me to fulfil my dream of becoming a midwife.
‘A lot of the time people tend to stare at me in the streets, but I don‘t let it get me down.
‘An elderly man has come up to me before saying how sorry he felt for me and it is like “someone has chucked me on a bonfire”.
‘This highlight the negative attitudes and perceptions some people have, but I feel very happy and lucky to be alive.
‘Sometimes, I actually forget that I am an amputee as it is very rare that I have to rely on other people to help me, but when I do I respect it as I respect my life.
‘I live differently by living life to the fullest as you never know what will happen next. I could have had a life full of independence, but I don‘t, so there is no need for me to dwell on it.‘