LIFE

Bullies Called Her A ‘Monster,’ Now Survivor Wears Her Scars Like ‘Diamonds’

by Ileana Paules-Bronet
Ileana is a writer on the Original Content team. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Alyssa McDonald was only 2 years old when she was horribly burned in an accident.

Alyssa, who is from Cincinnati, Ohio, was spending time with her family on Memorial Day when she wandered into the kitchen, where her grandmother was cooking.

Being a curious child, Alyssa made her way to the stove and accidentally pulled a pot of hot butter onto herself. The butter fell directly on her face and gave her third degree burns on 75 percent of her face. She lost vision in one of her eyes and was severely injured, not unlike this baby.

Her terrified family rushed her to the hospital, where 2-year-old Alyssa slipped into a coma. Doctors were sure Alyssa wouldn’t wake up and recommended that her parents start planning her funeral — but then Alyssa came out of her coma.

After defying the odds, Alyssa went on to have over 100 surgeries for her burn-related injuries. She had skin grafts, prosthetic eye fittings, and reconstructive surgery for her eyebrow and lips.

As a child, bullies called Alyssa a “monster,” but after she turned 16, Alyssa refused to have any more surgeries — she wanted to find pride in her burn scars.

[H/T Daily Mail]

Alyssa McDonald as a baby
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After molten butter poured onto 2-year-old Alyssa’s face, her uncle found her and tried to help.

He tried to get the butter off her face, but it was too late — the hot liquid was melting her skin off.

Alyssa McDonald as a toddler
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While in a coma at the hospital, Alyssa’s head swelled up to ten times its usual size, and doctors told her parents to call the pastor and prepare for her death.

Amazingly, Alyssa came out of her coma, but she spent the next year recovering in the hospital.

Alyssa McDonald scars
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Eighty-five percent of Alyssa’s face is covered in scars now, but she hasn’t let it get her down.

Growing up, kids called Alyssa a “monster” and ran away from her crying. Although it was humiliating, it made Alyssa stronger.

Alyssa McDonald as a teen
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It’s taken Alyssa a long time to be comfortable in her skin, but now she treats her scars like her most important accessory.

Alyssa’s scars make her who she is — even if there were a magical surgery that would perfectly restore her face, Alyssa says she wouldn’t want it.

Alyssa McDonald scars selfie
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Now Alyssa wants to encourage other burn survivors to not feel like victims. There’s nothing anyone can do to change what happened, so they should just embrace the way they look now.

Alyssa stopped getting surgery at 16, and since then has grown to become proud of her scars.

Alyssa McDonald portrait
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Alyssa says her scars “are like diamonds” — beautiful accessories that bring out her beauty.

Although she has bad memories of kids pointing at her, she still followed her dreams to become a daycare teacher, where her appearance will normalize scars to the kids she teaches.

Alyssa McDonald's scars
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Alyssa is not only brave, but she is inspirational for burn survivors everywhere.

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