With the weather in full chill and Thanksgiving right around the corner, countless friend groups throughout the country will be planning their own holiday dinner to give thanks.
But, after this nineteen-year-old named Natalie attended her “Friendsgiving” event on November 25, 2019, her life changed forever.
That night, she recalled having a wonderful time. Natalie and her friends had feasted on traditional Thanksgiving sides before deciding to light up a cozy bonfire.
What was supposed to be a nice end to the evening and warm everybody up, though, quickly turned into a tragedy.
After gasoline was poured on the bonfire, the flames exploded and set both Natalie and her friend, James, on fire.
They were both med-flighted to Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee, where Natalie spent seventy-seven days in the burn unit before going to rehab.
She sustained severe burns on her face, chest, arms, hands, and back, and within her first year of recovery, Natalie underwent twelve laser surgeries, a free-flap neck surgery, and five full-thickness skin graft surgeries.
While grappling with the tragic accident, though, Natalie never shied away from sharing her story and educating the community about what it’s like to be a burn survivor.
Instagram; pictured above is Natalie