I was 16 years old and I was sitting in my girl friend's car while two of our guy friends were huffing glade from a trash bag in the back seat. It was winter so we had the windows rolled up to keep the heat in. One of the boys in the back seat was so out of it that he lit a lighter and the entire inside of the car went up in flames. There was so much gas in the car that the air was literally on fire and we were trapped inside. It was a two door car and my friend and I were in the front seats talking while the two boys in the backseats were huffing air freshner cans from a trash bag. When the fire started the boys pushed us in our seats forward and left us seatbelted in and burning in the car while they escaped. She and I suffered first, second, and third degree burns on our faces and hands while the boys who left us in the car had burns so minor they didn't even need to go to the hospital and they had no scars once those minor burns healed. I spent weeks in the hospital burn unit and had to make weekly trips back for months afterwards as well as having to wear a compression glove and almost having to have a skin graft. I have major scars on my face and hands that will never go away but even the doctors told us, we are lucky to be alive. Ask Me Anything!

NSFW Imgur Imgur Imgur

EDIT: Here is the picture I took yesterday rotated! http://i.imgur.com/hmINAnX.jpg

Comments: 222 • Responses: 93  • Date: 

TexanInExile114 karma

I have some more bad news for you. It pains me to say this, but you seem to be permanently upside down as well. I know a good doctor who specializes in this sort of condition, if you're interested.

CheekyGeekyOne47 karma

Haha! Yes it's something I've been struggling with. I may need to do an AMA about that condition too. No but seriously, imgur kept loading it upside down every time and wouldn't let me rotate it. Really sorry about that :(

TexanInExile26 karma

Really sorry about that :(

haha, don't apologize! you're looking really great, my first thought was "Wow, she really made a great recovery" followed by "she's pretty hot."

CheekyGeekyOne19 karma

Haha! Well thank you very much :) the compliments are very much appreciated!

Phaeroth13 karma

For burns like that, that isn't just a great recovery, that is a mindbogglingly FANTASTIC recovery. I can barely even see the scarring, even while blowing up the picture to cover half my monitor.

Although, that has the added side effect of putting a pretty-albeit-upside-down face on my screen, but oh, what sacrifices must be made...

CheekyGeekyOne6 karma

Thank you! Haha, sorry the picture is upside down!

ShellyMcPherson2 karma

Yeah they're right..you're gorgeous.

CheekyGeekyOne2 karma

Thank you!

alli-katt66 karma

Wow, those guys sound like real losers to leave you like that!

Have you had any contact with them since the accident?

CheekyGeekyOne90 karma

I actually forgave them and remained friends with them. We didn't hang out or spend time together much as we got older. They've actually both passed away now. One of them shot himself a few years ago. The other just overdosed on heroin about 2 months ago.

EyeTea42050 karma

no surprise on that outcome for a couple of dudes huffing air freshener.

CheekyGeekyOne18 karma

That's very true but we were young and obviously we didn't make the best choices. Hindsight is 20/20 but learning from your choices and mistakes make you a stronger better person

EyeTea4205 karma

well i'm glad you've ultimately made some better choices than they did. sorry to make light of their tragic deaths.

CheekyGeekyOne3 karma

It's ok, I wish they had made different choices in life but I did what I could as a friend and I've used this and other things in my life including their deaths as motivation to make better decisions in my life.

alli-katt46 karma

It takes a really strong person to do that kind of forgiving. You're a much better person than I'd be, and I salute you for that!

I'm sorry to hear about that happening to them. RIP.

CheekyGeekyOne47 karma

It was hard, I had a lot of anger towards them for a while. I had to be home schooled and I was on so many painkillers I could barely function for weeks after I left the hospital. I didn't leave the house for a long time except to see the doctors. I was embarassed and hurt and I became severly depressed. I had a good support system in my family and friends who stuck with me. After going through something like that and being stronger for it, it's hard to hold a grudge against someone for a mistake they made. Thank you, I appreciate it.

xenha9 karma

Quality people.

CheekyGeekyOne6 karma

Kids who made bad choices*

AllDaProblems8 karma

Sorry if this question goes too far, but did any of the boys' deaths have to do with the car on fire incident?

CheekyGeekyOne17 karma

No that is a perfectly reasonable question. No, neither death was related to this accident. The boy who shot himself a few years ago was always in a battle with depression which led to him self medicating and experimenting with drugs. His suicide came as a shock but at the same time, we all knew he had emotional issues for years that he struggled with. The boy who overdosed on heroin a couple months ago had been in and out of jail and rehab because of his heroin addiction since we were about 19 or 20. I still talk to his mother on the phone and am close with the mother of his little boy as well. Neither of the boys are suffering or struggling anymore.

2dTom6 karma

Wow, you're an incredibly patient, levelheaded and forgiving person. I hope everything stays ok for you from now on. Your responses have just been absolutely phenomenal to read.

CheekyGeekyOne6 karma

Thank you very much! I have my moments like everyone else and I struggled in the beginning with anger and depression over what happened but all that did waste it harder for me. Once I learned to get past that and just focus on appreciating things more, there was a lot of weight taken off my heart.

CheekyGeekyOne5 karma

Thank you very much :)

Esminia4 karma

Can you insert it in your post please ? :)

CheekyGeekyOne3 karma

I edited my original post and added a link for the picture rotated properly :)

Motmahus3 karma

If that's a "post healing" pic then, damn. You did pretty well all things considered, I think.

CheekyGeekyOne5 karma

Yes there is one of my face form in the hospital a few days later and then the other pictures I took yesterday when I decided to write my AMA. Thank you :)

charlatan7435 karma

Not to be a total ass here, and I do feel bad for you...but...hanging out with dudes who huff stuff...even if it's a hufflepuff, is just asking for something stupid to happen.

CheekyGeekyOne16 karma

First of all I commend your use of Hufflepuff. I don't see what you said as you being an ass at all. I put myself in that situation and I should have known better. That is part of why I didn't press charges or sue. I didn't have to be in that car that day. I don't blame anyone for what happened. I've long ago come to terms with the fact that it wasn't anyone's fault per say. It was a collection of bad choices.

charlatan7411 karma

Still funny that i am downvoted by saying that hanging with huffers is a bad idea. Really, people?

CheekyGeekyOne8 karma

I didn't downvote you, I see nothing wrong with you expressing your opinion or with the opinion you expressed. I'm sorry you were downvoted!

simplemachine28 karma

Just to clarify, first image shows OP's badly burned face. Other two images are a hand and OP's (present?) condition, which shows an extremely impressive recovery, imho. No nudity whatsoever, if anyone also at work was cautioned by the NSFW tag.

I don't have questions, but thanks for doing the AMA!

CheekyGeekyOne10 karma

That's right, there is a picture of my face in the hospital a few days later and then a picture of my hand and face today.

GrantYoungH12 karma

You look incredible as of today. Honestly.

CheekyGeekyOne4 karma

Thank you very much!

TetrisIsUnrealistic4 karma

I totally agree with everyone saying how good you look. Hot!

CheekyGeekyOne4 karma

Thank you :)

Aerolites17 karma

Is there any way you can describe the initial pain of being burned?

CheekyGeekyOne30 karma

Honestly? No. Our brains went into shock and all of the adrenaline and fear took over. There really wasn't any pain initially. It wasn't until we walked in my house and my mom started freaking out that we got worried. By the time we got to the hospital the burns were really starting to show. We walked into the ambulance entrance of the ER and a nurse stopped dead in his tracks and we could see in his face it was bad. He said we'd been burned like a statment not a question and we said yes, he said wait here and took off like a shot. The heat hurt us too much so we had to walk back outside into the cold. A little girl who was maybe two or three, walked out with her mom, took one look at us, and started crying. When the doctors came to get us, there were dozens of nurses and doctors swarming us. At that point the pain had really started to hit. There was no amount of morphine or anything that they could give us that even took the edge off. It was like every cell in my hands and face was on fire and nothing could stop it.

EyeTea4207 karma

So can you explain the sequence of events in between the fire and walking into your house? for how long was the atmosphere ablaze? how did you get home? etc

CheekyGeekyOne12 karma

Well we were lucky that there was snow on the ground because we got ourselves out of the car and used the snow to put ourselves out and in panic we used our hands to put the interior of the car out. We knew we had to go to the hospital so we took the guys to one of their houses and drive to my house. We trued thinking up a lie for what happened. I think we said we were cleaning her car and the cleaning products caught on fire when we lit a cigarette. As soon as my mom saw us she started freaking out and called my friends dad to let him know she was driving us to the hospital. As soon as we got to the ER all hell broke lose once a nurse set eyes on us. It was a bluer from there, I remember bits and pieces. They transferred us as soon as they could from New Jersey to hospital in Philly with a burn trauma unit.

EyeTea4203 karma

oh god, south jersey. it all makes sense now.

CheekyGeekyOne9 karma

I don't know how to take that lol

EyeTea4203 karma

it was a definitely a potshot from a north-jerseyan

CheekyGeekyOne4 karma

Haha! Oh is that all? I'm used to that ;)

ceslek2 karma


CheekyGeekyOne4 karma

I wouldn't say I regret it because I've accepted it and I've turned it into a positive thing and its made me stronger. It was a terrible thing to happen but I got through it a better person. I wasn't a drug addict then, no. I did smoke pot back then but that wasn't an addiction it was a faze really.

CheekyGeekyOne3 karma

We lied because my girl friend's boyfriend was one of the boys and she wasn't supposed to be allowed to hang out with him.(her parents obviously were right for not liking it) she was afraid of getting in trouble and honestly so was I and were wanted to protect our friends. The doctors knew. They could tell by the burns what type of fire it was and suggested it to our parents. We admitted it to our parents in the hospital but didn't tell the police.

CheekyGeekyOne4 karma

Well we were lucky that there was snow on the ground because we got ourselves out of the car and used the snow to put ourselves out and in panic we used our hands to put the interior of the car out. We knew we had to go to the hospital so we took the guys to one of their houses and drive to my house. We trued thinking up a lie for what happened. I think we said we were cleaning her car and the cleaning products caught on fire when we lit a cigarette. As soon as my mom saw us she started freaking out and called my friends dad to let him know she was driving us to the hospital. As soon as we got to the ER all hell broke lose once a nurse set eyes on us. It was a bluer from there, I remember bits and pieces. They transferred us as soon as they could from New Jersey to hospital in Philly with a burn trauma unit.

iDeNoh3 karma

while not nearly as severe as what op experienced, I too have a pretty bad burn experience related to being a stupid teenager and playing with fireworks. It ended with my hand receiving third degree burns over a large portion of it. I can say without a doubt that I felt really no pain as I saw the skin dripping off of my hand, it wasn't until later on in the evening that it set in, along with the horror that my parents might actually find out what I'd done.

CheekyGeekyOne3 karma

I'm very sorry to hear this! It is interesting to know that you also had a delay in the onset of pain as well. (And that being stupid as a teenager happens to other people as well) Thank you for sharing your story!

iDeNoh5 karma

It seems like being young and dumb isn't a concept wholly owned by ke$ha, or something. But I must say you've recovered quite well, when I wrote the previous comment I was very tired so I didn't pay much attention to the images, but I'm very impressed. Keep up being as awesome as you seem!

CheekyGeekyOne3 karma

Thank you very much and I'll try :)

LarcusMywood16 karma

It's quite incredible how much your skin has cleared up, without knowing anything beforehand I would never have thought you had such serious burns.

Did you have any contact with the 2 guys after the accident? What about now? Your feelings towards them?

CheekyGeekyOne13 karma

The scars are more noticable in the sun and suring the summer when I have a tan or sunburn. The scars on my face stay a very bright white and stand out against the darker skin. That is why I have had bangs since my hair grew back. I can only part my hair on one side so the scars are covered and less noticable.

Gravy-Leg__11 karma

Aside from the white patch on your forehead, the scarring isn't really visible in the last picture. You're quite attractive.

Have you been to a plastic surgeon recently to see if there are any new cosmetic procedures available? It's been almost 10 years since the incident; it might be worth an office visit.

CheekyGeekyOne11 karma

Thank you very much, no I haven't been to a doctor about any cosmetic procedures. As much as I try to hide the scars on my face with bangs and I get embarassed when people ask whats wrong with my face, those scars are a part of me now. Compared to how my face looked in the hospital, I am very grateful for how normal I look now.

stareattheart10 karma

people ask whats wrong with my face

People can be great dicks sometimes.

I get asked what's wrong with my hand all the time... nothing, I just hold the pencil differently.

CheekyGeekyOne10 karma

I honestly think it's human nature to be curious. I know I personally have a thirst for knowledge. I don't think most people expect to hear this story when they make a dumb joke or ask about my face or hand. I think they just ask without thinking through what kind of answer they'll get at all.

DreamerGeek2 karma

I imagine you've already thought about this, but consider that if you were actually hideously disfigured or something, people probably wouldn't ask you questions at all. You look good, so people probably figure it's not a big deal to ask.

I can see how being asked would make me self conscious, though.

CheekyGeekyOne2 karma

Yes I do think that some of the time. Sometimes people are just curious and don't really take it into account that what they're asking me might upset me. If their intentions are good I try not let it get to me or offense.

bkamun8 karma

I like the way it looks on you. It's unique and interesting. Like Rogue from X-Men having the white streak of hair, only not cartoonish.

CheekyGeekyOne4 karma

I never thought of it like that, that is actually pretty awesome. Thank you :)

basement_kitteh3 karma

One more way to think of them: leopards have spots, those scars are your human equivalent to them. (That's how I think of my visible big scars elsewhere on my body. Why hide them when they give character?)

CheekyGeekyOne3 karma

Thank you, that is also a very nice way to look at it! I really appreciate that outlook :)

Jisamaniac4 karma

I don't see anything wrong. You look quite nice. :)

CheekyGeekyOne5 karma

Thank you :) that's always nice to hear!

Hemmingways10 karma


CheekyGeekyOne12 karma

Basically it's inhaling the gas or fumes in a glade can. It gets you high but it is actually very dangerous and you can die or make yourself brain dead just from inhaling too much and not giving your brain enough oxygen. It kills part of your brain everytime you do it. It's a terrible thing all by itself.

Lord_Osis_B_Havior7 karma

That's a terrible way to get high! I hope that marijuana legalization will reduce kids' desire to do this kind of shit. I huffed Scotch-Gard as a kid and I've often wondered if I'd be a few points smarter if I hadn't.

CheekyGeekyOne10 karma

I honestly agree! Kids huff because it's easy and accessible for them. It's not illegal for a kid to go to CVS or Wal-Mart and buy some air freshener, dust-off, or Scotch-Gard, or even for them to put it in their pocket or purse and steal it. If they buy his stuff they won't get arrested. It's an easy way for them to get high without worrying about geting in trouble.

BarrySandusky9 karma

Holy fuck. We're any charges made? Did they get in trouble? How does it feel now?

CheekyGeekyOne11 karma

No, we didn't press charges. We didn't give their names to the police. We were young and didn't want them to get in trouble. I hate that I have such big scars on my face and on my hands. When people ask questions or make comments about the scars or about my extreme fear of fire, that's when it really bothers me.

mikersh10 karma

As a person with a scar on my face, I wanted to say I know that feeling. Just remember that it is uncomfortable for a person to stare at a scarred face without being curious. Learn to be comfortable with yourself. Most people will understand that you're embarrassed or shy about it, but some people just aren't aware of that, and it's no fault of their own. I hope this helped a little and I hope you won't be bothered by people in the future. Also, it was great of you to do the AMA, I know it must have taken a lot of courage!

CheekyGeekyOne8 karma

Thank you, I try to keep in mind it's human nature. I've showed strangers at a bar the hospital picture because when a comment was made and I explained that I'd been in a fire, they didn't believe me. I'm far from ashamed, in fact it has sort of empowered me in some ways. I do have some issues with the scar on my face sometimes, but that's just normal self esteem stuff I think, hopefully one day it'll go away. Thank you for your comment though, I will keep it in mind the next time I start questioning myself :)

PichinchaV8 karma

Did coming so close to death give you a new perspective on life?

CheekyGeekyOne11 karma

It absolutely did. I appreciate all of the little things so much more now and I try to live everyday to it's fullest as cliche as that sounds. It also gave me an extreme fear of fire though. I've gotten it much more under control these days than i used to. I still have problems reaching into an over and getting hit in the face with the heat. It's something I have to work through every day.

ChromeGhost7 karma

What happened with you and your girl friend after? How was her recovery and her relationship with everyone involved after the incident?

CheekyGeekyOne4 karma

She was released from the hospital the same day as me and she had to go back for weekly visits as well but her burns weren't quite as bad as mine so she luckily healed faster with less complications than I had. One of the boys was her boyfriend at the time. They stayed together for a few months after everything but they eventually broke up for good. They stayed in contact on and off over the years but not as much as I did with all of them. She didn't attend his funeral that just past. Her and I were still very close for a long time after the fire but eventually grew apart. We still talk, and I see her every so often, though not as often as I'd like. It's something we'll always share together though. It's a major life event we experienced together and of the four of us it's only us two left.

ChromeGhost3 karma

Was there a specific reason she didn't attend the funeral? If you dont mind my asking

CheekyGeekyOne3 karma

I honestly don't know why she didn't come, maybe she had work or maybe she just wanted to keep him in her past. I didn't ask her, I figured if she wanted to tell me she would have.

flight197 karma


CheekyGeekyOne5 karma

Haha! Thank you very much for the compliment, it honestly put a smile on my face :)

TheSwollenColon6 karma

Have you ever huffed glade?

CheekyGeekyOne10 karma

Yes, I have actually. Trust me when I say the high is not worth the risk. I learned that the hard way, and that day I wasn't even the one doing it.

TheSwollenColon4 karma

I know frion was the first thing I ever got high on. We make dumb mistakes when we are young.

CheekyGeekyOne3 karma

Yes we do. Some more than others, but the important thing is just learning from it.

TheSwollenColon3 karma

My best friend growin up hung himself last may. Sorry to hear about that too. Some people have to deal with heavy shit at a younger age than most, but at least we can help the others when they get there.

CheekyGeekyOne5 karma

Oh I am so sorry for loss. You're right, some people go through things as a kid that are life changing and hard to deal with. Not everyone copes with every situation the same. It's sad when someone you care about self destructs in front of your eyes. There is only so much you can do, the choices are always in their hands, sometimes they can come back from something that's damaged them and be stronger for it but sadly that isn't always the case. Thank you for sharing and again, I am sorry for your loss.

hitlerchernobyl5 karma


CheekyGeekyOne3 karma

Well that is very sweet :) thank you very much!

lovehamhatefeet5 karma

Thank you for sharing ! You are an inspiration to young girls. Will you have to get anymore surgeries ? You can't even tell you were burned.

CheekyGeekyOne2 karma

Thank you! No, I've decided my scars are part of who I am and I'm not interested in getting anything done cosmetically to change them. The physical therapy worked and I have full motion in my hands and fingers so that's what's most important to me.

Crono1115 karma

Such an impressive recovery, you are very beautiful

CheekyGeekyOne4 karma

Thank you very much, and I am very thankful that the permanent damage wasn't much worse.

topwesselton5 karma

Did you have health insurance at the time? Do you know how much your recovery cost?

Also, are you offended by the term "die in a fire" that is bantered around online?

CheekyGeekyOne4 karma

I was lucky and I did have health insurance that covered almost everything and my grandmother was able to cover the pain medicine and copays that my insurance didn't cover. The pain medicine was honestly the biggest cost we incurred.

That is an excellent question! No I actually don't get offended by stuff like that on the Internet, I even say "Kill it with fire" anytime I see a big spider. The things that upset me tend to be comments made to me about my phobia or my scars directly but it's usually by people who don't know and I hold no grudges.

what_a_bird5 karma

I hope to become a burn nurse when I finish nursing school, do you have any advice for me? What made a good or bad nurse while you were on the unit? What could they do to bring you the most physical or emotional comfort?

I can't even imagine how painful it was. The worse I've ever had were 2nd degree burns on half of my hand and I was going bonkers.Congratulations on being strong enough to make such a wonderful recovery!

CheekyGeekyOne6 karma

We actually did have one nurse we had a problem with in the burn unit. She might just have been having a bad week or something but she was not very understanding or compassionate. My friend got sick in the middle of the night when they started her on the oral pain medicines and started weining her off the morphine. The nurse refused to give her anything for the nausea because she had vomitted in the toilet and flushed it. She was not very nice about the situation and had a very obvious attitude with us.

I think just trying to be understanding that there really isn't much that can be done to take the pain away and showing compassion is really key. Not pity, but compassion. Having a morphine button was the only thing keeping us from screaming and the pain on our faces was the only thing keeping us from crying.

Thank you very much! As burn victim I thank you for wanting to work in a burn unit. It can tell you my wounds are minimal to things I'm sure you'll see there and it must take a very strong person to deal with that type of injury. Burns are absolutely disgusting and the physical care of burns, especially from the beginning in the hospital, is a messy and gross thing to do. The nurses that changed my bandages and medicated my wounds and taught my family and I how to do it once we got home, were a major help in my recovery as much as the doctors and physical therapist were.

what_a_bird4 karma

It really seems that a nurse can make or break your hospital experience. I'm impressed with the way you gave the nurse credit for possibly having a "bad week or something"... my first instinct when reading it was to think "wow that nurse is a bitch." I hope I never become that jaded and grumpy while on the clock.

I'm sort of glad to hear that the overall compassionate nature of a nurse made your experience better. In medicine it's so easy to view patients as little "experiments" and to throw this med or that med at them and see what works and it's all very detached. I chose nursing because I wanted to have a job where I could actually help someone through my personality and some good-old-fashioned solid bedside manner! Burn nursing seems like a very intimate form of nursing because you're spending so much time in contact with your patients and you need to help them as much emotionally as you do physically. I can't wait for it!

Thanks for taking the time to give such a great reply. I promise I'll never be that mean nurse! :)

CheekyGeekyOne3 karma

Thank you for your wonderful comment and for all of the good I am sure you're going to do as a burn unit nurse!

forsionc235 karma

I know i've pretty much missed this train but:

How have you reacted when you've burned yourself reaching over the kettle or grabbing a hot plate out of the microwave or the like?

CheekyGeekyOne6 karma

That's a good question,y problem is more that it causes anxiety or panic attacks because of my fear of burning to death. Small burns incite some fear and anxiety but its short lived. The pain is easy, it's not that it hurts less than it does to another person but its more about perspective. Compared to the burns I had, a burn from a flat iron or a hot pan isn't even on the same pain scale.

forsionc233 karma

Thanks for answering.

CheekyGeekyOne2 karma

Thank you for asking!

forsionc233 karma

P.s I used your story in an exam I had today

CheekyGeekyOne2 karma

That is awesome :) glad I could be of service!

mlw72z5 karma

Amazing recovery. I actually feel really bad that I thought you were Asian from the first picture.

CheekyGeekyOne5 karma

Thanks, it's ok I get why, my eyes were swollen shut for the first day or so in hospital, this was actually an improvement in the swelling a few days into my hospital stay.

Lord_Osis_B_Havior5 karma

Oh you poor thing! That burned face one just made my heart drop. I'm glad you're OK now.

CheekyGeekyOne5 karma

It's not a very pretty picture, I know, but thank you!

netizen214 karma

It IS a pretty picture. Final Statement.

CheekyGeekyOne5 karma

Thank you very much! I took it yesterday in my office when I decided to post the AMA.

glenn4695 karma

It doesn't really look very bad at all (the healed result), much better than I would expect. Do you think it healed better than you expected?

CheekyGeekyOne2 karma

Yes, absolutely! After seeing myself at my worst and then having all of the complications over months of healing, I honestly didn't expect to look half as well I do.

Isathane5 karma

I got nothing much to say other than you're a strong woman and the doctors did an amazing job with the skin grafts.

Stay strong!

CheekyGeekyOne3 karma

Thank you very much!

Beetlebub4 karma

Judging from that last photo, it appears you've moved to Australia.

CheekyGeekyOne4 karma

What? Why do you say that?

CheekyGeekyOne4 karma

ah. because it's showing upside down for some reason? Yea, it won't let me fix that.

Beetlebub2 karma

:) It's not a problem. I just had to stand on my head. Co-workers looked at me funny though.

CheekyGeekyOne2 karma

haha, well as long as you didn't hurt yourself then it's ok. I tried a bunch of times to rotate it and even re uploaded it to imgur but for some reason it kept loading upside down and not letting me rotate it. I think they really liked this picture upside down better than right side up!

bananaslammah4 karma

Well you look like you recovered extremely well (scars aside) unless there were any other effects

CheekyGeekyOne3 karma

I still have some nightmares and a borderline paranoid fear of being burned or seeing someone else being burned around fire but physically it's just the scars. I wouldn't wish that pain on my worst enemy.

Thisismyfinalstand4 karma

TIL you can get high off Glade... Why don't kids just smoke pot?

CheekyGeekyOne2 karma

Sadly because pot is illegal and you can get glade anywhere no matter how old you are and for cheap. It's not a good thing and it's sad because people are hurt worse and even die from huffing all of the time.

chandelmetcalf4 karma

Wow, this is very intense. Just wanted to let you know that you are beautiful! I was in an accident and also have scars on my face (actually did an AMA as well), and so many redditors told me to embrace the scars and try your hardest to be confident about it, because it makes you who you are today. I know first hand it's so much harder said than done to embrace these things and try not to see yourself differently than before. But it is possible and with time (sometimes a lot of time, I know I haven't fully) you will be able to accept your individual beauty! Now some questions- Have you experienced any flashbacks or nightmares of the event? Do you think you developed PTSD from this? Do you keep in contact with the other female in this accident?

Thank you so much for doing this AMA, I wish you all the best :)

CheekyGeekyOne10 karma

Thank you very much! Yes, I actually have had flaskbacks as well as very serious recurring nightmares. They didn't start until after I was off the pain pills, or I should say I was unaware of them until then. They used to be much more frequent but now it's only every few months or so. I do think I have had some PTSD issues related to this. I couldn't even cook in an oven for years afterwards. I get very jumpy and nervous and have panic attacks around fire. Not everyone knows so someone may just get a little too close to my face with a ciggarette or make a joke about why I get so nervous at a bonfire. My close friends all know. I have showed this picture to strangers at the bar and told my story a million times because I am not ashamed and I want people to know. You don't know who a person is or what they've been through unless they tell you. I can't be mad at someone for teasing me about my fears when they don't know or understand my reason for them. And yes her and I are still friends and we have been through something together that has bonded us forever even if we don't see each other for years that will never change.

And thank you again :)

ZeroXephon4 karma

You look really good despite how most of your face is melted off in the first picture.
Q: Do you have to perform any maintenance to the scars left of you? Like having to apply some sort of medical cream for the rest of your life?

CheekyGeekyOne6 karma

Thank you! No, I've been lucky and really the only things I need to do are make sure I apply sunscreen more heavily and frequently because the burned skinned is much more suceptible to skin cancer. I also have to have my scars checked out regularly by a specialist to make sure anything is caught early. I've been very lucky that things weren't worse.

kirstenlorraine4 karma


CheekyGeekyOne5 karma

That's a good question. I guess I don't really know. It's hard to tell what people really think, only what they say and how they act. My friends don't even see them anymore, they look at them like a part of me just like my nose is a part of me. Strangers? Sometimes I get questions about them and I explain what happened and where they came from. It's not a proud moment as far as how the fire started or anything but I'm not ashamed of it either because it's helped me become who i am today. If they choose to look at me negatively because of it, that's their choice. I choose to try not to let it effect me.

mabilal4 karma


CheekyGeekyOne8 karma

I honestly couldn't describe the amount of pain we were in with words. Every thing hurt. At first it wasn't too bad because our bodies were in shock and the burns hadn't had time to really set in. Once our adrenaline was down and we got to the hospital it was a pain I hope I never feel again. They cut our clothes off imediately. They had us on morphine and they covered our faces in towels soaked in saline, I believe, and had our hands in buckets of the stuff. It didn't help.After being in the burn unit for a few days my swelling went down enough to close my mouth so I could finally eat and they started giving me percocet plus the morphine drip. Once they released us we were on oxycontin, oxycodone, and hydrocodone.

mabilal5 karma


CheekyGeekyOne7 karma

Wow, I am so very sorry about your grandfather. To be honest the real pain wasn't until later. What happened was our brains went into shock and the adrenaline made it so we didn't really feel much pain at all while we were being burned. I don't know if its the same for everyone but from my experience I'd say he didn't really suffer as much as you'd think. His brain most likely did what mine did and the nerves and pain sensors were on such overload that they shut down. Again, I'm very sorry about your grandfather.

mabilal4 karma


CheekyGeekyOne4 karma

Thank you and you too!

tryinreddit4 karma

You are so lucky to be alive. And you seem to have made a great recovery. I don't know what your life outlook is but I imagine you are able to appreciate each day in a way a lot of people can't and that's pretty cool.

CheekyGeekyOne6 karma

Thanks, I really do try to appreciate each day and take things as they come. I try to find the silver lining in things and one constant silver lining is always that I'm alive and that things could be much worse. I could've been badly disfigured or not survived at all but I got through everything with just a few scars and I'm very lucky and grateful for it.

rowanstar3 karma

Given the opportunity, what message would you give to teenagers who do huff various products?

CheekyGeekyOne6 karma

It isn't worth it. I know what happened to me was a freak accident but burns related to huffing are actually much more common than people think. I learned all about it after the fire. What makes you feel high when you huff is actually your brain shutting down which causes hallucinations like dreams in your mind. You're cutting off your oxygen to your brain and your killing brain cells that you will never be able to get back. It may be fun at the time, but it's not worth the long term damage you will suffer. People have suffered permanent brain damage from huffing and people have also died from it. It happens all over and it happens everyday. It's just not worth it.

Monkeyguy50003 karma

How did your family react to the situation? Did they overlook the huffing?

Like everyone else, I have to say that it's amazing how well you've recovered from it and your responses are very enlightening.

CheekyGeekyOne3 karma

They were obviously not happy about the situation I put myself in and they were obviously upset by the boys reactions or lack of reactions. They were scared and sad because none of us knew how much damage would be done long term, they were thankful and appreciative that they still had me and that things weren't any worse than they were. I've never seen the amount of fear and pain I saw in my mom's eyes when she looked me then. They were strong around me though, they didn't cry and they kept optimistic smiles on for my benefit. I found out later there were a lot of tears and break downs in the halls of the hospital but they wouldn't allow it in my room, they agreed to stay positive and supportive through it all and they did a really great job of it. And thank you for your questions!

FearMyChewyWafflez3 karma

Did this stop you from doing anything? Like the disability to do sports? something like that.

CheekyGeekyOne2 karma

I actually missed school for months during my recovery and wasn't able to do any school activities. I was home schooled the rest of the school year until my burns healed and I overcame my depression. I returned at the beginning of the next school year and was able to do all the same things I could before. Thank you for your question!

FearMyChewyWafflez3 karma

Was there Major scarring around your body?

CheekyGeekyOne3 karma

Actually no, we were lucky it was the winter so we had layers and jeans and hoodies on. Some plastic from the trashbag and the car interior melted through our clothes on our arms and legs and chest but those were minor burns and healed. The only really badly burned areas of our bodies were our hands and some of our arms, our faces, and our hair. The smell was terrible though. With our faces and scalps burned so bad we couldn't wash our hair and the smell of the burnt hair followed us everywhere. Weeks afterwards my girl friend who was a hairdresser took me to her job to wash my hair and try and cut some of the burned hairs off. Once she started washing my hair the whole salon smelled so much like something was burning that her co-workers started panicking and running around looking for a fire. It was so embarasssing for everyone when we explained to them that the smell was coming from my hair.

[deleted]2 karma


CheekyGeekyOne1 karma

It is a thing unfortunately and kids do it a lot more than you'd think. It's a terrible thing though. Yes I can understand why you'd think I was asian, that picture was a few days after the fire but the swelling in my eyes and lips had actually gone down from how it started. I couldn't open my eyes or close my mouth at first, I actually couldn't eat for days because my lips couldn't shut but my eyes opened relatively soon.

Adreal19d2 karma


CheekyGeekyOne6 karma

Upvotes for you, huffing is a dumb and dangerous thing. You clearly didn't read this whole thread or you would've seen I already stated that as well as that I don't blame anyone else for what happened. I know I put myself in that situation so I hold no grudges or blame on anyone else. I never claimed there aren't much worse burn victims and I feel absolutely terrible because I know what I felt was on a small scale to some people, sadly. Thanks for your comment though!

SlyFrauline2 karma

Plz post pictures in the correct orientation

CheekyGeekyOne1 karma

I edited my original post with a properly rotated picture! Thanks!

ialdabaoth2 karma

okay, I have to say - between the scar on your forehead and the glasses, you look equal parts adorable and bad-ass.

CheekyGeekyOne5 karma

Haha! Wow, that is really awesome :) Thank you!

bman94222 karma

what happened to the person in the drivers seat?

CheekyGeekyOne4 karma

She was in the burn unit with me and was released the same day. Her right hand is scarred almost as badly as my left hand. She healed up a little quicker and easier than I did and she doesn't have any scars on her cace but like me she's fine now

bman94222 karma

wow, glad both of you turned out ok ultimately!

CheekyGeekyOne2 karma

Thank you! :)

ancientcreature2 karma

I'm sorry that you ever even met those lousy excuses for human beings.

EDIT - Just learned that those two guys died later in unrelated incidents. I know you disagree, but I think that was quite an appropriate thing to happen to them.

CheekyGeekyOne3 karma

Well you are more than entitled to your opinion. I've learned to let go of my anger and forgive them because it was only hurting me. What happened to them in the end was, sadly, the consequences of their bad choices continuing far past this incident. I don't think of their deaths as appropriate because I have seen the pain of their loss that their families have and are suffering from. It's hard to listen to a woman you've known since you were a small child, cry for the loss of her son, or watch a 5 year old little boy lost and confused and sad at his father's funeral, or look at the younger sister who found her brother with half of his face missing and will never lose that image from her mind no matter how hard she tries.

ancientcreature4 karma

I understand, but I also think Hitler's mother would have cried for him too, and that doesn't make me sad. The world is better without them.

CheekyGeekyOne3 karma


[deleted]1 karma


CheekyGeekyOne4 karma

There isn't any physical pain anymore thankfully. There is still mental and emotional damage that I struggle with on a regular basis. I have an serious fear of fire that I've gotten more control over with time but it still effects me almost daily. The guys didn't try and help us out. I think they were as much in shock as we were. It was an unbelievable and unexpected thing to happen. Your body is built with the fight or flight instinct. You can't fight fire and we were only kids. I don't blame them. And thank you very much for the compliment :)

deeweez-3 karma

Do you still use drugs? ( I'm assuming you are because you remained friends with a heroin addict as well as another drug abuser who committed suicide )

CheekyGeekyOne3 karma

No I don't use drugs. You know what they say about ASSuming. I was just raised to have a good heart and to forgive people and to always be there for someone in need. I don't hate people who struggle with addiction because I've seen that it is exactly that, a struggle. Depression is something I know first hand, and I've lost more than one friend to overdosing, sadly. It doesn't make them bad people. They're choices may not have been great but they were ones living with day in and day out and the fact that they both passed away the way they did shows that those choices led to their destruction. It's not my place to judge them for it though, all I could do was love them and support them in the good things and try and guide them from the bad but in the end it was their choices and I accept that.

deeweez0 karma

Yeah I don't care what they say about assuming. Everybody does it. But thanks for the answer, sorry for assuming.

CheekyGeekyOne2 karma

It's true, we do all assume things. No hard feelings or anything, I appreciate that you asked instead of just assuming and leaving it at that.

deeweez2 karma

Wouldn't be fair to just leave it at "oh she still uses".

Not sure why people are downvoting me for asking an honest question. Its god damn /r/iama

CheekyGeekyOne1 karma

Well I've upvoted both your posts, as I said I'm just glad you asked instead of walking away under the wrong assumption.