Post courtesy of DailyMail.co.uk
Location: Oxford, United Kingdom
Date Of Injury: February 2003
A woman who ‘died’ three times after suffering 95 per cent burns in a horror caravan blaze is learning to walk again after five months in a coma. Kizzy Brockall, 29, from Oxford, was left looking ‘like a monster’ after the caravan she was living in caught fire in July 2013. Doctors battled to save her life, and despite her heart stopping on the operating table three times, she survived.
The former chef spent the next five months in a coma, with doctors telling her family she would probably never wake up. However, defying all the odds, Kizzy awoke, and has since had to retrain herself to do the most basic things in life. She said: ‘I’ve had to learn to do everything again – walking, talking, eating, the works. It was absolutely horrible waking up. I had no memory of what had happened so I wasn’t prepared for it at all. I remember the first time I saw myself in the mirror – I looked like a monster.’
‘My family were told I wouldn’t make it and prepared for the worst. They didn’t even tell me because they didn’t want me to worry but I guess it shows how bad the situation was.’
Kizzy was living in a caravan in the back garden of her sister Nikki’s home when the fire broke out last year. With barely any memory of the incident, the 29-year-old has no idea how it started, and has only since been told she was pulled from the fire by Nicki’s partner, Carl Richens.
She said: ‘I don’t remember any of it – my memory’s really blurry. The last thing I can remember is looking down at my hands and seeing them on fire – after that it’s a real mess of images – I can’t remember a lot. ‘The next thing I knew I was up in hospital fighting for every breath.’
After being rescued from the blaze she was rushed to Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital, with her skin left red and black from the horrifying burns and her hair frazzled. Doctors then transferred her to a specialist burns unit at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, where she was only given a 20 per cent chance of surviving the journey from Oxford to west London. Kizzy said: ‘When I went up to the hospital in Chelsea, I had a 10-hour operation and I was told afterwards that I’d died on the table. There were so many times I could have gone but you have to keep fighting.’
Her horrific injuries have left her with just a thumb and single finger on her left hand. She is unable to move her right hand properly, and it’s only now that she’s started eating solid foods again – ten months after being discharged from hospital. Kizzy said: ‘I can only just cut up my food properly and walking’s still a massive struggle – not just because of the pain but because of the way I look.
‘My family gave me a lot of emotional support. We recently went to Spain for a week which was a big deal but people still stare. You’ve just got to get on with it and live life in as normal a way as possible and to be honest I’m lucky to be here at all. One of the hardest things was that I wasn’t allowed to wear make-up because my face needed to recover but one of things that really got me back on track was my hair growing back.’
She added: ‘I value life so much more now. Everyone thought I was going to die but here I am, it’s difficult but you’ve got to get on with it. I’m lucky really. I died three times after the fire and I’m only here because the doctors brought me back to life.’
Andy Williams, consultant plastic surgeon at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, which manages one of the burns centres for London and the South East, said: ‘It is rare for a person with 95 per cent burns to survive. To treat such a patient requires a huge effort from surgeons, therapists, nurses, psychologists and dieticians working together over many months in a specialist unit like ours.’
Follow Kizzy on Instagram: @kizzykisskiss9