Just talking about my experience can resonate with others and help them get through tough times. It makes me think I’m meant to be here and this is why what happened, happened. My scars changed my life, but now with them I can help in changing others.
Justyn Hollet survived third degree burns over his neck and upper body when, as a toddler, he pulled a pot of boiling water off the kitchen counter.
I was just a toddler when I changed my appearance. I pulled a pot of boiling water off the kitchen counter, resulting in third degree burns and scarring over my neck and upper body.
I think I first became aware of the difference that my scars made to my life when I had to wear an all-in-one swimsuit. I didn’t understand why I had to be different, but I knew that I was. I went to Spain with my family and I was in a fleece on the beach. Today, I have grown the courage - and recently started having swimming lessons - but even now those early memories and feelings of being different are still in my mind. It’s a fear of judgement and it’s really tough.
Growing up, I didn’t have much access to support. There was no dedicated burns unit where I lived and little was provided in the way of psychological support. I have recently undergone reconstructive surgery to create a lobe on my ear, and have had further surgery to help improve the appearance of my scars, and release the tightness typical of scarring.
Its important that as a society, people keep growing and striving to understand themselves and each other. I can’t change the past. I can’t create new skin, and I don’t want to. I just need to create and understand what the best version of me is. Some days are good days, some days are not so great. I just have to remember what got me through the good days. I try not to let my scar hinder me. Living with scarring can be a lonely experience, because it’s not always possible to share openly with friends and family. So talking to people who have been through something similar is crucial, and can have a profound impact on other people who are struggling. I have shared my own experiences through my platform BRAVESCAR, to help others, and this has really given me a sense of purpose.
Im proud of being the Founder of BRAVESCAR, and am proud to be an Ambassador for the Scar Free Foundation. When I was younger, scarring wasn’t understood at all. We are now trying to change this – to help others to understand the physical and emotional side of scarring.
Accidents and injuries have an emotional as well as a physical impact. The Foundation’s vision of a Scar Free World would help people deal with the emotional trauma of such events. Healing scar free would give the survivor the chance to work from the outside in, without having to worry about their physical appearance - you can focus on the inside.