Woman 'begs for her life' after common kitchen item explodes in her face

The DJ was excited to have a romantic night with her boyfriend when her entire wold was 'turned upside down'.

A woman has shared graphic photos of the horrifying injuries she received after a fondue pot suddenly exploded in her face, requiring the DJ to undergo 21 brutal surgeries.

Juliana Maddeira, from Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, suffered third-degree burns on multiple parts of her body including her face, arms and neck, after the horrific accident that "turned her life upside down".

She had been "in a good phase" of her life on the fateful night in June last year and was at home getting ready to have a romantic dinner with her boyfriend.

Juliana Maddeira on the beach before the fondue pot exploded.
Juliana Maddeira suffered severe burns after a fondue pot exploded in her face. Source: Newsflash/Australscope

"He had bought a fondue pot and was looking forward to using it. Everything was ready for the night and I went to try the novelty," she said. "He believed he was doing everything right and as he saw that the fire often seemed lower, he insistently threw gel alcohol on it in order to increase the flame and continue dinner. After doing this many times, the explosion happened.

"The fire came towards me and I saw my body in flames, I could only ask for help, I begged for my life."

DJ felt like her body 'was cooking'

Juliana said that she was wearing silk pyjamas — a very flammable fabric — and it was a miracle she did not go up in flames completely.

"I had no idea what was going on, I ran to the kitchen, put out the fire in the sink with running water, ran to the cold shower because I still felt my body boiling, it felt like I was cooking, literally. In the shower, I rubbed my neck and my skin came off in my hand," she described the terrifying moment.

Massive blisters and skin missing Juliana Maddeira's arm and her face wrapped in bandages in hospital.
Juliana Maddeira said she could feel her body 'cooking' and was forced to undergo 21 surgeries. Source: Newsflash/Australscope

The DJ's partner rushed her to hospital, where she believed doctors would simply apply an ointment on her skin and that everything would be fine. But she was quickly surrounded by dozens of physicians and, realising the seriousness of her situation, had a panic attack.

"I had my business up and running, I lived alone, I had a stable life, until, due to the explosion, I burned 10 per cent of my body, including third-degree burns," she said. "I was hospitalised for 40 days — 20 days in the ICU [Intensive Care Unit]. I needed 21 surgeries, I had 150 stitches and I developed panic attacks."

'He didn't know how I was still alive'

The 28-year-old said she nearly lost her sight in her right eye and that during her stay in hospital, she got an infection due to the number of wounds on her body. Everything was "very open and conducive to bacteria", and to make matters worse, she "had an allergy to the antibiotics".

Juliana said she remembered how a doctor took her dad to one side and said that he did not know "how I was still holding on". The DJ said she was being given so many painkillers that she was waking up during surgeries and having severe nightmares about fire.

Juliana Maddeira on a boat and the severe blisters on her ear.
The DJ still suffers from panic attacks, a loss of hearing in her left ear as well as memory loss. Source: Newsflash/Australscope

The surgeries never went well, she said, adding: "I had horrible reactions, cold, fever, tachycardia, panic attack, pain and everything together. It was a mix of feelings."

"One of the times I went back to the ICU, I saw my father crying, that moved me, my father doesn't cry. Later, he told me that the doctor said he didn't know how I was still alive."

Woman still struggles with memory loss

Juliana said she eventually pushed through thanks to her religion and her brothers, who regularly held video calls with her.

After being discharged in August and a graft surgery on her arm, the DJ said she continued to struggle with her self-esteem. Now she says she is on the mend despite still suffering from panic attacks, a loss of hearing in her left ear as well as memory loss.

Despite being on eight types of medication a day, she still finds a way to enjoy life. "When I find myself in a nightclub, running a dance floor, smiling, with my friends, full of people in tune with me, I feel so alive, I end up arriving home at 8am, after enjoying the whole night," she said.

"I'm a DJ and more than ever I want to bring joy to people. I'm here to prove that it's possible to turn things around."


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