Dana Vulin's amazing recovery

Dana Vulin, 28, survived third-degree burns to 64 percent of her body and, after 30 months of surgery and intensive therapy, but has finally ditched her mask.

SN ART Burn victim reveals new look in exclusive interview

SN ART Burn victim reveals new look in exclusive interview

But recently she suffered another blow - a routine pap smear by her doctor revealed abnormal cells in her cervix.

"As soon as I looked into his eyes I said to him, 'it's bad isn't it?' And he said, 'Yeah I'm sorry, you have cancer'," Ms Vulin said.

"I just couldn't believe that, dealing with so much at once, there were times where I thought how much can one person deal with?"

Incredibly, within a month Ms Vulin was operated on to have the abnormal cells cut out and declared cancer-free.

With the help of designer Betty Tran and models from Vivien's modeling agency in Sydney, Dana celebrated removing her pressure garments with a glamorous makeover and catwalk show.

"It would've been easier to die but I've never taken the easy road to anything so. It is the hardest, rockiest, biggest mountain you can possibly think of," she said.

"I'm going to make this burn my bitch, I'm going to kick it in the face and I am going to rock scars, look hot with my scarred-up body and just make this work."

Ms Vulin previously spoke to Sunday Night about her survival after she was left for dead in her home on February 16, 2012, when her attackers broke in, doused her in methylated spirits and set her alight.

CLICK HERE to read a letter from Dana Vulin to Sunday Night viewers.

With the help of a neighbour she was rushed to Royal Perth Hospital and into the care of Australia's leading burns unit where they placed her in an induced coma.

Her attacker Natalia Dimitrovska was sentenced to 17 years' jail and will be eligible for parole in 2027.

Ms Vulin said she had been "known for her looks" before the attack.

Dana before the attack.

"I'm not completely used to the way I look yet. I feel really ugly. I know beauty's skin deep and I believe all that and personality shines through. That's all well and good if you weren't burned alive and didn't lose your face."

Ms Vulin has since been undergoing numerous surgeries.

Non-surgical treatments have included daily physiotherapy to stop her skin from tightening and suffocating her movement, laser therapy and plasma applications.

"I respect the shit out of this mask and appreciate it. And I also hate its guts," Ms Vulin said.

"Without It I couldn't be where I am at now but essentially I've been faceless and it makes you feel like a nothing and a no one."

Prior to her attack, the university graduate loved parties and the glamorous lifestyle and admitted to using recreational drugs - something she says she will never do again.

"I was using. Yes, I used drugs and I had drug possessions and I am so sorry that I did that and I regret it but I did it, it is done, it will never happen again. Me being set on fire had nothing to do with drugs."

Dana said the attack was all about jealousy, a chain of events that began with a chance meeting with Dimitrovska's husband at Perth's Crown Casino in 2011 at a New Year's Eve party.

Dimitrovska found out about the meeting and began threatening Ms Vulin, saying she would "ruin her pretty face".

Dana and sister Svetlana emerge from a Perth court.

"To be able to explain to anyone, I mean, really explain how painful it was being set on fire is really, truly impossible. There are no words," Ms Vulin said.

"I was so broken at this point. Shattered, like my soul was broken. I could feel it pouring out."

On the night of the attack, Dana's sister Svetlana heard a radio bulletin while driving with her husband and, when Dana didn't answer the phone, she went to her house.

"[The report] said that it was a blonde girl, mid-twenties, that was attacked in Rivervale and I said, 'Phil, what if that's Dana? She didn't call back'," Svetlana said.

"We got to the scene and there were just forensic police everywhere, and I just remember throwing my purse at the police – 'This is my sister's house, I'm her sister, look at my ID, where is she?'."

Dana Vulin's condition was touch-and-go for the first week, as the risk of infection was so high, but 10 days after being set on fire she finally woke from her coma.

It was February 26 and her attacker had been caught trying to flee to Macedonia.

To show your support for Dana and keep up to date with her progress, like the We Heart Dana Vulin Facebook page. Dana is also trying to raise $250,000 to help with her ongoing lifelong treatment – you can help her out by donating via her Everyday Hero page.


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