Post courtesy of DailyStar.co.uk
Location: Worcester, MA
Date Of Injury: 1998
A STUNNING burn survivor left with half a face has defied cruel bullies by training to become a firefighter.
Tatyana Shakhray, 18, suffered horrific burns to the left side of her face, right hand and stomach when she was just six months old after falling onto a scorching hot wood stove.
The teen, from Worcester, Massachusetts, was repeatedly mocked and bullied for her appearance, and has had more than 100 surgeries for her burns.
She said: “Most people I see in public stare, point and whisper about me to their friends.
“I’ve found myself crying on so many occasions, I can’t understand how some people can be so cruel.”
But Tatyana now has more confidence after meeting love of her life, Mason Philips, 19.
“Three months ago I met the most wonderful guy and he’s completely changed my life.
“It’s the first time I’ve ever really felt myself around someone and he tells me I’m beautiful every day.”
And the inspirational teen now attends a Fire and Ice camp put on by the Portland Fire Department, set up to build the confidence and self-esteem of burn survivors.
Tatyana revealed how she was hoping to come up with new techniques to fight fires and help other survivors.
She added: “I feel like I’ve come out on top and defied any negativity thrown at me, if I can do it anyone can, just believe in yourself.”