A woman who suffered severe burns across her most of her body after an explosive work-related accident has set out to prove beauty is more than skin deep.
Adriana De Souza Pires de Lima, 39, from Santa Catarina, Brazil, used to own a sofa cleaning and waterproofing company with her husband.
On 25 July 2017, the pair went to a customer’s home for a waterproofing job. It was the job that would change her life forever.
The pair were using a flammable product but ensured they took their precautions. Just as they were close to finishing the job, the customer accidentally switched on the gas which ignited and exploded inside the apartment.
Firefighters and ambulance were called to the scene and rushed to Adriana’s aid.
After being engulfed in a fireball, she went into cardiac arrest and paramedics spent over two hours resuscitating her. She was rushed into the intensive care unit as her organs begin to fail.
Doctors warned she had little chances of surviving as her kidneys started to fail, her heart swelled, there was water in her lungs and she suffered an infection due to the extent of her burns.
Adriana was placed into a medically-induced coma for more than three weeks and awoke to learn she had suffered burns on 63 per cent of her body and was transported to the hospital in an ambulance.
When she woke, she had little memory of what had happened to her but all she could think about were her two sons, Eduardo, 12, and João Miguel, 2.
“I went into despair and I was sedated. After leaving the ICU, I stayed in a special controlled room due to the burn wounds, it was the most difficult days of my life,” she said.
“Until then, I didn't know how to walk, eat, drink, I spoke very softly because I was intubated, but my willpower to go home and see my boys were much greater.”
Adriana feared the judgment she would receive from her family members and was ashamed about her appearance.
"I saw my body for the first time. I was burned all over and had horrible pains, I no longer accepted myself as a woman I was ashamed of myself.”
She went into a deep depression and even contemplated suicide.
In the following months and year after the accident, she says she slowly slowly got herself out of her depression and learned to embrace self-love and acceptance.
“It was very difficult to accept myself again, I was afraid my husband would not want me, my children would be ashamed of me.
“This was the second stage of the recovery process that I consider to be perhaps the worst since in addition to the physical consequences I had to go through a long emotional process of acceptance.
“I put it in my head that I had to change, so I changed the way I saw life, I came back to love myself, accept myself.
The mum of two decided to shun plastic surgery and instead chose to embrace her scars.
She set up an Instagram page in hopes to inspire and motivate women to love themselves from the inside.
“My trademark is to always be happy and smiling and today I have a reason to smile again.”
“Women, accept yourself the way you are!” she says.
“Be it fat, thin, with physical scars or in the soul, but accept yourself and always have faith.
“We are all survivors. The important thing is to live life with a smile on your face.”
Adriana is currently undergoing scraping and skin grafting to gain mobility in her hands and relieve the chronic pain she endures daily.
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