Horrified Abigail Jones was left screaming in ‘excruciating' pain earlier this year when the instant latte she made with boiling water hit her skin.
Angry red welts and blisters covered her chin, lower jawline, neck, chest and six inches of her inner arm after the accident last February.
"I wanted a coffee in the car so made the drink and thought the lid was on correctly, but it wasn't,” said Abigail.
"I like to drink my coffee hot so only left it on the side for two minutes.
The mum-of-one decided to take a sip from the before she left the house, which is when the accident happened.
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"I tipped the drink back and not much came out, but then the lid collapsed on the thermal cup I'd had for years,” said the 30-year-old.
"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.
"I was screaming with the pain on my face – it hurt so much – it was excruciating,” said Abigail.
"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."
Abigail was told the burn to her face was superficial, and that the worst burn was on her arm which was deeper than skin tissue.
She was sent home with her arm slathered in a specialist burns gel and carefully wrapped in bandages.
Following weekly check-ups throughout February, she was eventually discharged with minimal scarring.
"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,” said Abigail.
"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.
WHAT TO DO IF SOMEONE'S GOT A BURN OR SCALD
• Move the person away from the heat
• Place the burn or scald under cool running water for 10 minutes minimum
• If the burn is to a child, larger than your hand, on the face, hands or feet, or is a deep burn, call 000.
• Remove jewellery and clothing around the area, unless stuck to the burn.
• Cover the burn loosely, lengthways with kitchen film to prevent infection
• Don't burst blisters.
• Monitor and treat for shock if necessary.
• Tell them to seek medical advice.
(Information from St John Ambulance)
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