Mercy was in her 20’s when she was burnt. Initially, she received treatment in another country before moving to the U.K. for more specialist treatment. Mercy believes it is important for family members of people with burns to be supported as well as the person themselves.

Mercy was in her 20’s when she was burnt. At the time of her burn, she was living in another country where some treatments were not available to her. Three years after she was burnt, Mercy met with a doctor from the U.K. who was concerned that she was not receiving the correct treatment or had access to the right equipment. He invited her to travel to the U.K. for treatment.

Over the years Mercy has had over 20 skin graft operations to help with movement and mobility. Mercy’s scars healed with contractures which caused her pain and discomfort in her neck and hand. She said that sometimes, the site that the skin is taken from for the skin graft is more painful than the site of the graft itself. Over time, Mercy realised that due to her dark skin, she is more prone keloid scarring than people with white skin. This has caused some problems with scarring and has required laser treatment which has “flattened” the skin on Mercy’s face more. Mercy recently received laser treatment to “flatten” her keloid scarring, but unfortunately this did not achieve the outcome Mercy expected. She said this could be because “the older the burn, the harder it is to get the skin to flatten”.

Mercy has found several ways of coping with having a burn injury. Support groups are important to her because she is able to meet and speak to other people who have burns. It is also important to Mercy that her family are able to access support as she believes her burn injury affects them, too, as sometimes they struggle to understand what she had been through.

Journaling has also been a way which mercy has learnt to process her emotions. When her anxiety was high or if she was feeling distressed, Mercy would write in her journal about how she was feeling. By doing this, Mercy is able to go back and read how she was feeling at certain points in her life and how she dealt with those feelings, should they arise again. Mercy recommends journaling to others as a way of coping with difficult emotions.

With time, Mercy has been able to accept that her burns make her the person she is today. Having a burn injury has “made me very resilient”, Mercy believes.

With time, Mercy came to accept that her burns make her who she is, and she is more resilient because of them.

Age at interview 55

Mercy said that events that include family members of those with burns are important because they can sometimes struggle too. She had attended some run by a US charity, The Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors.

Age at interview 55

Mercy wanted to set a “good example” about body confidence to her daughter.

Age at interview 55

Mercy used journaling as a way to cope with difficult feelings and situations.

Age at interview 55

Mercy would sometimes pretend to be asleep to delay having her dressings changed.

Age at interview 55