I was eighteen months of age and my Mom had put a pot of oil on a hotplate to cook some fries. Mom went to answer the phone and I reached up and pulled the boiling pot of oil onto my head. I was rushed to the nearest hospital which was called York County at that time. It was here that a doctor put his hand on the burn and my skin stuck to his hand when he removed it. That hospital said they were sorry but the burn was worse than they could handle and had me rushed to Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto.
For some time, the doctors did not think that my heart would survive this trauma but after a six week stay I was well enough to return home. Yes, I would be scarred for life but I would live. What I did not get over was that hair would never again grow on this patch of my head (see Scarred Alopecia). The older I got the more self conscious I became and consistently combed other hair over it and always tugged, pulled and held my hand over that part of my head. I hated to let anyone get close to me in any way for fear they would see my scar. My 15 year-old daughter and 17 year-old son did not know of my burn until I went to see Dr. Cotterill. I felt embarrassed and did not want them to know about it. This affected my daily life, from not being able to go swimming, having to always have the car windows up, to not being able to go to amusement rides or enjoying so many family activities like running or riding a bike with my children. The kind of emotional walls I created caused me to make some poor decisions in my life and most often settled for less than I should have if I had only had more confidence in myself.
I now have Dr. Paul Cotterill, his staff and the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery to thank. For the first time in my life feel normal. I have a confidence that comes with not trying to hide a large scar from seeing eyes, everyday, all day.
I was treated so well and had great faith that what Dr. Cotterill and his team were doing for me was better than I had ever imagined. Thank you to you and the entire ISHRS for all that you have given me.
Hair Restoration Surgeon: Paul C. Cotterill, MD