Three years after being burned alive by her husband, who burned 79%, Mai gradually got used to the scars on her body, telling herself “to step through the past”.
On the afternoon of March 2018, Mai and her husband had an argument. Husband watered his wife with gasoline cans, lighters. The 21-year-old woman’s entire body flared up like a torch. Neighbors put out the fire and took Mai to the district hospital for first aid. She was transferred to the Le Huu Trac National Burn Institute, Hanoi, the same day.
Mai recalls: “At that time I lost my feeling but I was conscious enough to see every layer of peeling skin. The shock of that day disturbed everything and an obsession for my whole life.”
At the time of hospital admission, Mai’s whole body was covered. Doctor Nguyen Thai Ngoc Minh is the main treatment for Mai, said the patient suffered severe burns, the damaged area was more than 79% of the body, of which 54% of the skin was deeply burned, most in the body. Lucky face area is not burned.
Mai treatment in hot drying room to dry quickly. Mai describes, above is the emergency room dryer system, below, parents use a hand-held dryer, 40-50 degrees hot, still suffer.
“Dead and alive” phobia is the scalp to graft to damaged skin areas on the body. Mai is taken the scalp 4 times, once a week. After that, the doctor tries to look for undamaged areas for transplantation elsewhere. However, the area of the burn was large, the skin healed not much, the doctor encouraged Mai to take the skin of the chest area. Initially, she disagreed, the doctor spent a week convincing Mai to understand “if you want to live, you must accept”.
Mai also infected with organ fungus, blood fungus causing immunodeficiency, risk of death if not treated promptly. She has a high fever constantly. Incompatible grafted skin, dead skin, antibiotics do not control the fever.
“The situation is critical, while the medicine is expensive, everyone thinks Mai is more or less healed,” said Dr. Minh.
At that time, every time preparing for surgery, Mai apologized to her parents for having to take care of her, “like the words of the end of the moon”.
In 4 months, Mai underwent 7 surgeries. Once, Mai begged the doctor to pull out the tube and leave gently. Then looking at her parents, she told herself to be more persistent. Doctor Minh also regularly encourages her to avoid negative thoughts and want to give up life.
After leaving the hospital, Mai still had a nightmare and haunted the feeling of pain and burning pain in her whole body. Every day, the father regularly cleans and wipes the baby’s body to avoid infection, and the mother does not dare to face. Gradually, Mai learned to get used to the scar on her body, her spirit no longer depressed. Currently, she can take care of herself, take a bath and walk more easily after three years of practice.
Mai returned to school from the end of 2019. Initially, her family protested, but later agreed, “I am afraid that my children will stay at home a lot, I can think about it”. After the accident, she had difficulty walking, her right leg still lost feeling, her toes were pulled and unable to stand. Every day, she also had to wear long clothes to hide the large and dense scars on her whole body.
Mai is a second year student, majoring in Pharmacy at Thai Binh Medical School. Mai hopes that when she graduated, she opened a drug store, she did not need to travel much, have income to cover her life, and help her family. She received a scholarship, motivated to overcome fate, and overcome illness. Mai meets many friends, many people offer love, but now she just wants to focus on herself, not ready for a new relationship.
“I am still skeptical and distrustful, so I always keep a safe distance from everyone. Moreover, my life is unstable, so I do not have a long plan”, Mai shared.
When asked “what is the motivation to start over?”, The girl shared: “I can’t answer specifically, but I feel a sense of relief when I go over the past and live on”. She hopes everyone around will gradually forget the sad story but only remember a Ngoc Mai who is striving to live better every day.
* Character names have been changed