Life

By Josh Saunders

A burns survivor branded a ‘monster’ by bullies after scorching butter melted her face is rejecting surgery because she loves her scars.

Alyssa McDonald, from Cincinnati in Ohio, USA, was two-years-old when she tipped a pan of burning butter onto her face.

PICS BY ALYSSA MCDONALD / CATERS NEWS 

Family members said her skin was ‘melting off’ after the accident that left her with third-degree burns on 75 percent of her face and blinded in one eye.

After slipping into a coma her parents were told to start planning her funeral, as there was ‘no chance’ she would wake-up.

But Alyssa defied doctors and went onto have over 100 surgeries – including skin grafts, fitting a prosthetic eye and reconstructing her lips and eyebrow.

ALYSSA MCDONALD / CATERS NEWS 

Alyssa, 25, a day care teacher, said: “It was Memorial Day, my grandmother was making something that caused her to melt butter on the stove.

“Me being a curious child, I climbed up to have a look and accidentally pulled the pot of hot butter down onto myself.

“The butter fell directly onto my face, it missed my head but covered my face, I was burned very badly.

“My uncle found me and desperately tried to wipe off the butter over the sink, but my skin was so badly burned it was melting off of my face.

“After being rushed to hospital I slipped into a coma, where my mom said my head swelled ten times its normal size.

“The doctors told her the best thing to do was to call the pastor and start getting funeral arrangements together as there was no way I was going to make it.”

ALYSSA MCDONALD / CATERS NEWS 

After awakening from the coma, Alyssa spent over a year in hospital receiving treatments and had to wear a mask to shield her skin from further damage and infection.

Over 85 percent of her face was left with scars because of skin grafts over the years.

At school Alyssa was called a ‘monster’ and suffered the humiliation of kids running away from her crying.

Alyssa added: “I have a lot of bad memories of people pointing at me when but I’ve never allowed myself to be the victim.

“I had kids run away from me scared of how I looked and call me ‘monster’, I’ve even had kids cry when they saw me.

“At Halloween, we went to the store for candy, there were loads of kids in costumes and the cashier thought I had a Halloween mask on.

PICS BY ALYSSA MCDONALD / CATERS NEWS 

“She told me, ‘It’s the most realistic mask I’ve seen all day’, when I told her it was my real face she was mortified.”

But after stopping all surgery at 16, she’s slowly learned to love herself and now uses the motto ‘I wear my flaws like diamonds’ to describe her pride in how she looks.

Alyssa said: “It’s taken me a very long time to get time to get to this point but I’ve realised they make me who I am.

“There is nothing I can do about it, what’s happened to me or how I look, people either will or won’t accept me – either way that’s not my problem.

“My scars are my most important accessory and bring out my personality.

PICS BY ALYSSA MCDONALD / CATERS NEWS 

“If I have a beautiful dress on they bring that out and are like diamonds to me.

“I would not change my scars, I’m in love with them, even if there was a magical surgery to give me whole new skin I would turn it down.”

Alyssa believes her strength comes from not allowing herself to become a ‘victim’ and now channels her positivity to encourage others to feel proud of their scars too.

She added: “I’m helping people to get over their burns, because the longer you dwell on it the more valuable time you’re wasting on something you can’t change.

“I’ve had plenty of times where I’ve cried because I didn’t want to be different anymore and wanted to be anyone else other than myself.

“Once you realise there’s nothing you can do about it, it just becomes life.

“It’s not your problem how people perceive you or how they think about you, once you accept that you can live life for yourself and not everyone else.”