By Josh Saunders
A student burns survivor who felt like ‘Frankenstein’s mermaid’ is determined to model again to show others ‘life goes on’.
Taylor Goodman, 23, from Keota, Oklahoma, suffered 42 per cent burns to her body after an explosion that nearly claimed her life.
She believed she was lighting a line of diesel to burn a rubbish pile, but it was in fact gasoline and exploded moments after setting it alight.
In hospital she spent 25 days in the burn’s unit, requiring two blood transfusions, skin grafts over much of her body and then three surgeries to be able to talk again.
The brave medical student battled mobility restrictions caused by her scarring while relearning to walk.
Since then, she has been learning to accept her new appearance, initially believing she looked like a ‘Frankenstein’s monster’ and a ‘mermaid’ due to her ‘scaly skin’.
But over time, she has started to embrace her scarring and the former model now has hopes of posing for shoots to empower other survivors.
Taylor, who is training to become a registered nurse, said: “When I woke-up I was wrapped like a mummy everywhere. I was unable to talk and in so much pain.
“I broke down because I know what I used to look like, and knew I’d never be the same again.
“I couldn’t walk, talk, or use my hands. Physical therapy was so painful, as it was stretching all of my scars.
“I went from being model status, to feeling like Frankenstein’s mermaid.
“I felt like Frankenstein’s mermaid because my legs looked like gory fish scales to me, like snake skin and I felt like a monster.
“My self-esteem was at an all-time low, not being able to do the things I used to and not looking the same.
“I still don’t see myself the same, but I know I can’t change it, so I live with it and yes I will model again to show other burn survivors that life goes on.”
Recalling the horrifying accident, which took place in June last year, Taylor said she was begged to be put to sleep.
She said: “I was doing some yard work. I went to light I brush pile I was told had diesel on it, but it turned out to be gasoline.
“I remember being blown backward and feeling like I was on fire, so I stopped, dropped and rolled.
“Then I still felt like I was on fire, so I rolled again. When I stood up, all I saw was my skin falling off my hand and legs.
“Screaming at the top of my lungs, I ran as fast as I could to the truck to go to the hospital.
“I was screaming in the hospital and doctors were telling me to calm down, because I was scaring the other patient, so I begged them to put me to sleep.
“I remember feeling my face blistering, my lips tightening up, and seeing my hair burnt on the pillow.”
The life-changing accident left her with a combination of third and second degree burns to her face, neck, legs and arms.
Surgeons took skin grafts from her stomach, upper thighs and side to replace the damaged skin.
During her time in hospital she would need three additional surgeries to repair damage caused to her vocal cords to enable her to talk again.
Taylor said: “I was burnt on over 40 per cent of my body – my arms and legs were third degree, and then I had second degree to my face and neck.
“I was told I would lose my legs if I didn’t have skin graft surgeries on them.
“From there, I pushed myself every day in physical therapy so I would not need to have skin released through surgeries.”
Taylor bravely battled through rehabilitation to relearn how to walk and reduce her mobility issues.
While still learning to accept her new appearance, she is positive about the future and hopes to someday inspire others by modelling once again.
Taylor said: “At first, the scarring terrified me, knowing I would never look the same ever again. I used to be a model, and I knew I had lost that hobby.
“But day by day, I see progress slowly but surely. I’ve accepted that I can’t change what happened or speed up time.
“At first I would have break downs everyday about my scars, but I’m slowly starting to accept I can’t change what happened.”