Hanvitha | Whitby, ON
“When I look at my scars in the shower, it reminds me of what happened on January 19th, 2014, and of how brave and strong I was that day. I was just eight years old and I had a terrible cold. My mom had boiled hot water on the stove, and I was sitting on the ground with a blanket over myself inhaling the steam, trying to unclog my sinuses. I called my mom to help me remove the blanket, and that’s when the pot of hot water somehow tipped over. I’m not sure exactly what happened. I still think about it now and try to solve it.
After the water spilled, I can’t remember much. I was shocked and traumatized. I sustained second and third degree burns from my stomach down to my ankles on both legs. My dad called 911 and an ambulance took me to SickKids. At the hospital, it was all a blur. I was wrapped up in gauze like a zombie, with multiple IVs in my arm and wires going everywhere. My parents were sitting beside me and crying. As a kid, it was really confusing.
“Thinking about my accident makes me sad, but it also brought me to figure skating. Figure skating transformed how I felt about myself.”
I was at SickKids for a month. I got multiple skin grafts on my leg. I had to work with a physiotherapist to re-learn how to walk, which I stubbornly resisted. The doctors would try to make me laugh, but I wouldn’t. I was so devastated by what had happened to me.
After my accident, part of my physiotherapy was to stretch my legs, so my parents put me in figure skating. I realized it was my sport at the very first class. I loved the feeling of being on the ice, the cold air on my face, skating around the rink, and later, the burst of excitement doing jumps and twirls. The feeling of putting myself on the ice and risking things is incredible, and falling just teaches me even more.
Thinking about my accident makes me sad, but it also brought me to figure skating. Figure skating transformed how I felt about myself. Before I was never a risk-taker, but skating changed that. It has shaped who I am."