Mum suffered third degree burns & was left in hospital for two months after friend poured alcohol on table heater
A WOMAN who survived third degree burns now looks stunning but has to wear compression garments on her face for 23 hours per day.
Videographer April Charlesworth, 28, from Colchester, was left with horrific burns when a friend poured ethanol on a table heater to make it spark at the pub in April 2021.
Pictures show how despite her horrific burns, she now looks nearly like her former self once more.
During the incident, an alcoholic bottle near the heater caught on fire and exploded, burning April and her cousin.
April was rushed to the hospital after the incident and put under an induced coma for four days.
She has third-degree burns on seven per cent of her body, including her face, chest and hands and spent four weeks in bandages in the hospital after the incident.
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April has to wear compression garments on her face and chest 23 hours a day and have laser surgery every six weeks for her scars.
She said: “I have to wear compression garments twenty-three hours a day, they are exceedingly uncomfortable.
“They scratch and itch and I can barely breathe in them but the swelling and redness on my chest have already gone down and they are exceedingly helpful.
"I have a plastic mask I wear on my face with holes in the eye, nose and mouth.
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"I also sleep with the compression mask on, it was exceedingly uncomfortable and suffocating, to begin with. I could barely breathe and only got two-three hours of sleep some nights.
“I have to have the mask altered every two months as the swelling and scars on my face change and it stops fitting right.”
April described how the horrific incident led to her being engulfed in flames.
“I was at the pub with my friends when someone poured ethanol over a table heater,” she said.
“The fire suddenly jumped up and consumed me and another friend sitting right next to me.
“I remember after the incident I was really confused as to what was going on, my shirt was burnt up so I was walking around the pub topless.
“I did not realise the extent of my injuries I refused to go to the hospital I just wanted to go home and see my son.
“However, my friends called an ambulance and I was taken to the hospital where they put me under an induced coma for four days.
“I was admitted to the burns ward for two months and am now in the recovery process.
“I felt suffocated and isolated more because I missed my son, when he first saw me he couldn’t look at me or wouldn’t come near me because he was scared of what I looked like all bandaged up."
April has developed social anxiety after her incident and feels afraid to be out of her house.
“Before the incident, I was happy to go out all the time, I was a bit of a party girl,” she says.
“Now I can’t think of anything worse, I don't like going out I'd rather just sit at home with my little boy.
“I'm just more anxious about everything and I've get really bad paranoia.
“I can’t go out by myself, and I feel like everyone I see on the street is out to get me.
“I know that’s not true, and what happened was a freak occurrence, but I can’t stop the anxiousness.
“I get anxious even when my son goes to school these days, I can’t control it.”
April has shared her entire burn survivor journey and the after-effects of her trauma on Instagram.
“I have found a great community of people on Instagram while sharing my journey,” she says.
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“I'll get like random messages with a message saying how amazing I am and people find me on Tik Tok and say you're incredible and stuff like that.
“I've had loads of survivors messaging me and just saying like thank you for sharing your story.
“And it's helped them be able to share stuff with other people as well.
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“It's helped me get through it like, and loads of people say how much it's helped them knowing that I'm able to share my journey.
“Because I shared the good and the bad, and nothing I have shared is not fake.
“I don't want people to think it's all happy like like you will get better because there are days where you just don't feel like that at all.”
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