Kelly had used the particular candleholder before, but in the past she had let the candle burn out itself. "This time I wanted to go to bed, so I decided to blow out my candle," Kelly says. "But on the section that holds the oil, there is no lip to protect you from the oil splashing up. So, when I blew out the candle the oil took up the left side of the dish and splashed up onto the left side of my face."
In pain, Kelly instantly began peeling what she thought was wax off her face. After a few moments, she realized she was actually peeling her skin. "I started to freak out," Kelly says. "I was in a lot of pain, so I went to the hospital where they started scraping my skin. They kept me in the hospital overnight and put me on a pain drip. I had first-, and second-degree burns around my eye, lips, chin and cheek and third-degree burns around the corner of my lip."
Kelly was released from hospital the next day, but she had to wear a patch over the side of her face for three months. She was also given burn cream and antibiotics and told to change the dressing on her face two to three times a day.
"That made it difficult for work," Kelly says. "I'm a bartender. It gets really hot back here and I was told that I can't sweat because that will make things worse. I missed two weeks of work, but even when I went back, I know I missed out on tips. It was our busy time and I had to explain to all my customers what happened. I looked scary. It was bad for business."
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Although the burn injury occurred six months ago, Kelly still feels the effects of it today. "My cheek still irritates me all the time, so I have to put lotion on it," Kelly says. "The left side of my chin and lower cheek swells and gets red and bumpy. I still get pain and itchiness. When I go out I have to wear either a hat or a lot of sunscreen to protect the skin. Enough sunscreen that people can see it on my face. That's because the skin is still fresh and if it is exposed to the sun, it can cause permanent scarring. Right now, the baby skin is a different color from my normal skin tone, but that should even up eventually."
"I just want to heal and look normal again," Kelly says. "But I think I may have some permanent scars."