News & Updates

Emma’s Story: From Nurse to Survivor

The Katie Piper Foundation has changed my life – I’m a new woman. 

The 16th June 2023 will forever be a day engrained into my mind – the day my life changed forever! 

Emma was enjoying an evening with her family when her life was turned upside down in a split second. Not only was Emma traumatically burnt with 29% body burns but their family home was partly destroyed too. 

Emma explains what life has been like since that tragic day and how her life has changed forever with the support of the Katie Piper Foundation. 

“I was a nurse and enjoying life, I’d recently decided to be my own boss to continue teaching in my field, empowering others to do their best when my accident happened. While enjoying an evening in the garden with my family, our paraffin firepit exploded and the back of me was engulfed in flames. Panicking I ran into the house, which then caught alight and was partly destroyed and meant me and my family have spent the last 10 months living with my dad whilst it was renovated and I recovered. 

I was in one of the best hospitals – Whiston are specialists in burn injuries and maybe it was the nurse in me that gave me the strength to do everything they told me to, gritted through the pain of dressing changes so I could be home with my family or because I knew someone else needed the bed. When I was told I was being discharged after just 4.5 weeks, the sharp reality struck me, and I felt completely lost. I thought I was strong; scars heal but the mental trauma led me to a path where I was lost and in a dark place, I desperately wanted to get back to who I was before but a different version of me after the accident – I just couldn’t see the way. 

In a state of panic, I messaged Katie Piper through Instagram, never did I think she would reply, she pointed me in the direction of her founding charity – The Katie Piper Foundation, and within days I was in touch with the lovely Johanne and a team of people who swept me up into this comfort blanket.  

The Katie Piper Foundation changed my life from psychological support through to residential rehabilitation which was the biggest asset – or as I called it the ‘Retreat’ because that’s what it felt like. A sanctuary of healing and recovery centred around ‘Me’. I was apprehensive at first, due to my burns, and I needed to cream my back several times a day, my family had become my carers but the team at Katie Piper Foundation took all that apprehension away.  

I wasn’t prepared for how the therapies would make me feel, taking part in things like mindfulness as well as the physical support with Physiotherapy, scar massage, yoga, and personal training, the way it was done was incredible and I felt this enormous release and felt emotionally lighter. 

RuthAnn is like a superwoman, what she can do with her hands to stretch and move skin and scarring is nothing short of formidable, I’d had Lymphatouch prior and didn’t think LPG would do much, but I was so wrong. The movement I gained in my arms from just a few sessions and how flat my scarring felt. The team were so knowledgeable about self-care too, providing options for different creams, I’d  and found very little relief until Catrin and RuthAnn suggested Dermacool – I had instant relief. Why hadn’t my GP suggested this before when I’d been itching like mad for months!  

I just felt listened to and heard, the Katie Piper Foundation caters to your every need. From physical rehabilitation to spiritual and mental healing. I felt such a sense of relief and relaxation from that first moment when I entered the ‘Retreat’.   

Emma had this advice for anyone who has experienced a burn injury and is apprehensive;  

“Don’t hesitate to get in touch, think of where you’ve been – the depths of despair but you’ll find a welcoming hand with the Katie Piper Foundation that will hold you through the journey, and you’ll feel re-energised and powerful, I promise it will change your life”! 

You can make a difference in the lives of survivors like Emma by donating to the Katie Piper Foundation. Click here to donate and see other ways you can get involved.