Flawed and Fearless: How a Severe Burn Survivor Wears Her Scars Like Diamonds

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Alyssa McDonald (Photo Courtesy of Alyssa McDonald)

Alyssa McDonald shares her journey to self-love after childhood accident left her severely scarred

Alyssa McDonald was two years old when she accidentally knocked over a pot of scorching hot melted butter directly onto her face and part of her shoulder. An entire childhood and adolescence spent in and out of hospitals suddenly became normal for the Cincinnati, Ohio resident.

The incident happened in McDonald’s maternal grandmother’s kitchen on Memorial Day in 1993, and it caused her to suffer severe burns all over her face and lose her left eye. “My uncle was the one who found me,” McDonald reveals. “He took a paper towel to wipe the butter off my face and when he did, he said my skin was melting off onto other parts of my face and into the sink.”

McDonald was rushed to the hospital, where she went into a two-week coma. She said her body swelled up 10 times its size and she was blind for a short period of time. Doctors went so far as to tell her parents to start preparing funeral arrangements because they didn’t think she would live.

Read more of my latest piece for Ebony [here].