A 29-year-old woman has suffered horrific third-degree burns all over her breasts after she passed out from the pain of cooking chicken, which melted the skin on her chest and arms.
Abbie Reynolds nearly died in the agonizing accident on October 12, 2020, which happened after she suddenly blacked out while talking to her roommate – who actually helped save her life by dragging her away from the red-hot pan , before taking an ambulance to their home.
Despite her roommate’s quick thinking, Abbie suffered “excruciating” injuries that required three rounds of painful surgery and saw her spend 20 days in the hospital as doctors tried to repair the damage from her burns.
And even after all the surgeries, she has scars on her chest and arms that are making her struggle with her confidence.
Injury: Abbie Reynolds, of California, was left with painful burns to her chest after passing out in a pan of boiling chicken, melting the skin on her breasts
Scars: The 29-year-old suffered third-degree burns to her breasts when she suddenly blacked out in her kitchen while her roommate was preparing chicken for dinner
Abbie also struggles to cope with the trauma of her accident, which she described as “life-changing,” and admits she doesn’t think she’ll “never be the same” — physically or mentally.
“It was a life-changing experience,” the school psychologist said. “I will never be the same person I was physically or mentally before the accident. That is very difficult to accept.’
Speaking about the moments before her accident, Abbie recalled talking to her roommate, event planner Margaret Williams, 30, before realizing she was struggling to keep up with the conversation.
Her vision became blurry and she began to see “black spots.”
She couldn’t blink them away and thought she would lie down.
“Margaret told me to sit down,” Abbie explained.
“The last thing I remember was walking into the living room, but apparently I stopped and turned to look at the microwave over the stove. I blacked out and sank into the cooking food.’
When Abbie woke up two minutes later, she couldn’t bear the pain of her burn, describing it as the most “painful” and “excruciating” she’s ever experienced.
Recovery: The school psychologist was rushed to hospital after the accident and had to undergo three different surgeries in an attempt to repair the damage caused by her burns
Duration: She spent a total of 20 days in the hospital, during which time doctors tried to restore the appearance of her skin with an innovative procedure called RECELL, which failed
Fueled by adrenaline, she jumped up and ran out of the room screaming in pain.
“It was unbearable,” she recalls. ‘I thought I was going to die. I’ve never experienced anything so painful and I honestly don’t think I ever will. Even childbirth won’t be that painful.’
Abbie’s roommates chased her to try and remove her bra and wet rags – while they waited for the ambulance to arrive. She was then rushed to MedStar Washington Hospital, where she underwent three surgeries.
Initially, doctors tried to correct the damage from the burns with an innovative procedure known as RECELL surgery, in which a small skin graft is placed in a buffer solution so that it can then be sprayed back onto the patient.
The technique involves placing a sample of a burn victim’s skin in a suspension that can then be applied to the body.
However, Abbie’s burns were so severe that the procedure failed — forcing her to undergo two more surgeries in which doctors performed traditional skin grafts.
“The first thing I felt when I saw my burns was the shock, I had never seen my skin look like this before,” she recalls.
‘Unbearable’: Speaking of the ‘life-changing’ accident, Abbie recalled screaming in pain when she woke up
Learning: Abbie says the experience has made her struggle with her confidence — but it’s also helped her “be kinder to herself”
‘It was grey. Then I felt fear, I was completely crazy and afraid of the unknown. But once I had time to process what had happened, I felt fear. Once I got over the initial shock, I realized I was going to have a long ride.
Waking up after any surgery was one of the hardest parts. It was so traumatic.’
After 20 days in the hospital, Abbie was able to go home, where she learned to accept her burns and embrace her new body image.
Abbie was fired and was allowed to go home on November 1, 2020.
She is now coming to terms with her scars.
“The seriousness of the accident is incredibly difficult to accept,” she said. “You actually have to grieve for your old body and old life as you try to accept and appreciate your new self and life.
“Now that I have all those huge scars on my body, I realized how much time I wasted worrying about little stupid blemishes that no one else would have noticed.
“But it’s forced me to be nicer to myself and appreciate my body for all the great things it’s done for me.”