A mum feared she was disfigured for life after she poured scalding coffee on her face by mistake when her mug lid ‘collapsed’.
Abigail Jones, 30, said she was left crying and screaming in “horrendous” pain when burning latte splashed her skin moments after she made an instant drink.
The mum-of-one was left covered with angry red welts and blisters on her chin, lower jawline, neck, chest and across six inches of her inner arm.
Abigail, from Spilsby, Lincs, was rushed to hospital by her dad Roger where she feared she would need skin grafts following the accident in February.
But nine months on, thanks to treatment from specialist burns doctors, Abigail’s injuries have completely healed.
Childminder Abigail said: “I couldn’t compare the pain to anything else.
“If you get a burn from something like catching yourself on the oven or catching your finger on your straighteners it’s a quick, sharp pain.
“This was a very prolonged burn which left me in constant pain, it was awful.
“I was in a lot of shock when it happened, I remember just screaming through the pain and crying.
“At the hospital I asked a doctor the worst-case scenario and he said I might need to have a skin graft.
“That worried me, I was thinking ‘I’m going to be disfigured, how are people going to look at me?’
“It was the emotional as well as physical injuries. I was dealing with.”
Latte lover Abigail had made herself a drink using instant latte powder and hot water, but no milk, which she poured into an old travel mug to take in the car with her.
The mum-of-one took a sip from it in the kitchen before leaving the house and thought she’d pushed the lid down firmly as usual before taking a sip.
Abigail said: “I wanted a coffee in the car so made the drink and thought the lid was on correctly, but it wasn’t.
“I like to drink my coffee hot so only left it on the side for two minutes.
“I tipped the drink back and not much came out, but then the lid collapsed on the thermal cup I’d had for years.
“I just remember it feeling very hot and a horrendous burning on my chin which was the most painful part of it all.
“Thank God I was alone in the kitchen. It hit my chest and arm too but they didn’t hurt as much as my chin so I instantly went to put cool water on my face thinking ‘if I can rescue that part of me I’ll be ok’.
“I now know I should have stood in the shower because there were three areas that were damaged and that would have ensured I got cool running water to all areas.”
Abigail’s dad rushed her to Boston Hospital’s A&E department before going to Nottingham Hospital’s Burns Unit.
Abigail said: “I was given some sort of pain relief at Boston Hospital and the blistered burns on my arm were wrapped in clingfilm.
“I was screaming with the pain on my face – it hurt so much – it was excruciating.
“I was told that it was a superficial burn on my face and that the worst part of the burn was my arm which didn’t hurt as much.
“I was told the less a scald or burn hurts the more damage it’s done.
“The burn on my arm had gone deeper than skin tissue which is when it’s more dangerous.
“On my wrist there was a black mark – it was there that they didn’t know if I needed a skin graft.”
Abigail was sent home with her arm slathered in a specialist burns gel and carefully wrapped in bandages and after weekly check-ups throughout February she was eventually discharged with minimal scarring.
Abigail, who now waits for her coffee to cool before taking a sip, said: “How my chin isn’t really badly scarred I don’t know – thank God it’s ok. There’s just a small blemish left behind which only I can see.
“I’m first aid trained for my job but when it happened I panicked and didn’t really know what to do.
“Since the accident I’ve spoken to a lot of people who didn’t really know what to do in that situation which is why the burns awareness campaign is so important.
“I can’t thank the doctors and nurses at Nottingham Hospital enough, they were absolutely amazing.
“They helped me emotionally as well as with the physical injuries.”
A Nottingham University Hospitals Trust, Burns service spokesman said: “Thank you Abigail for your kind acknowledgement of our specialist burns outpatient department.
“NUH has a specialised team who make burns care accessible for patients across the region, providing expert nursing care for some of the most severe burn injuries.”
Training Delivery Manager at St John Ambulance, Graham Ellis, said: “If someone suffers a burn injury, it’s important to take immediate action to prevent them from going into shock or suffering long-term damage.”