FRANCISCO PADILLA

FRANCISCO PADILLA

Location: Fresno, CA

Date Of Injury: September 2012

“On September 3, 2012, after spending a day with family, I was driving home and I fell asleep behind the wheel. I crashed my car into a power pole the car caught fire with me in it. As a result I was airlifted to Fresno Community Burn Unit due to my injuries.

I had burns to 65% of my body. From my waste down they were 3rd degree and doctors had to cut my legs open to try and avoid them having to be amputated. Luckily I still have my legs.

I was in the hospital for more than ten months and went through 30 surgeries. I couldn’t walk, move or do anything myself. I thought my life was over. My family would try to encourage me and say I would be back to walking and being better one day but I never believed them. I couldn’t stand on my own, let alone walk.

I had to learn to walk again and relearn how to do the regular activities of daily living. Following my injuries, I had low self-esteem because I felt like I was just one big scar walking around.

Today, I am really into fitness and workout everyday. I have my self confidence back and I am not afraid to show off my skin anymore. I lost the 4 fingers to my left hand but I still manage to do pull-ups and do them proudly.

I’m currently going back to school now to be a Physical Therapist. In the long run I want work with burn survivors like myself. My accident changed my life and in the beginning I felt like it would have been best if I didn’t survive. Now, I feel like everything I do, I do it with more of a purpose and I have come to appreciate life more. After what I endured, all I want is to encourage the world.”