Charlotte Adderley: My Burns Life

Our client, and a Burnslife founding member, Charlotte Adderley shares her personal burns journey with us. We’re honoured to help Charlotte through her claim and truly value the opportunity to support Burnslife in their efforts to assist burns patients, their families, friends and carers through their burns journeys.

Charlotte in her Burnslife T-Shirt in 2015

In 2014, my life was changed forever in the worst possible way.

I was a student at the time, working in hospitality and enjoying my freedom as a 22 year old. Attending a friend’s birthday barbecue, I thought it would be a fun winter’s evening – just like any other. During the event, a common ethanol-fuelled burner was refilled with spirits. It exploded and liquid ethanol was splashed onto me; before I knew it, my hair and clothes were on fire. I ended up in the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital Intensive Care Unit with severe burns to my face and body.

A five and a half week induced coma saw most of my body, apart from my legs, grafted with unburnt skin.

“I had more surgeries in those weeks than most people will go through in a lifetime.”

The following three-month stay at the burns ward was incredibly hard to endure, with physiotherapy twice a day and learning how to do ‘normal’ things independently again – like walking, talking and even breathing. I was lucky to have amazing surgeons, doctors and nurses who took care of me every minute of the day.

Despite having been through such a traumatic experience, watching me struggle during Intensive Care, my incredible family and friends stayed strong for me and supported me the whole way through.

Burns rehabilitation is a gruelling and painful process: two years of physiotherapy and wearing compression garments to ease skin contractions. Not to mention, numerous surgeries and a whole world of psychological trauma. It pushes your inner strength and determination to a whole new level. Being a strong-minded person definitely helps that.

Achieving small goals, one at a time, would bring me hope and happiness. For example, physiotherapy started with gaining strength back in my arms, and being able to stretch the grafted skin on my fingers to make a fist. After some time, I was able to sit up, and then stand up, and slowly but surely, I walked, and then ran and climbed stairs. Getting through these stages was crucial and I never gave up.

As I was recovering, I engaged Carl Hughes from Gouldson Legal in my case. During such a difficult time, I was relieved to know I was in good hands. Meeting Carl was a breath of fresh air after such a traumatic time; he was so considerate and helpful while I was almost incapacitated.

“The support that I have received from a legal standpoint has been second to none and I have high hopes for my case.”

The Gouldson Legal team have also gone well out of their way to support me on a personal and social level, in becoming involved with my non-profit organisation, Burnslife. An organisation that developed in order to assist burns patients like myself, as well as carers, friends, and families who have been affected by burns trauma.

Gouldson Legal has always been at the forefront of Burnslife’s services, supporting in every way that they can.

Almost three years down the track, I have graduated from university and begun a career in marketing where I work with an amazing team. My burns journey isn’t over yet but, for now, I’m grateful to be able to enjoy the good things in life.

Our thanks go out to Charlotte for sharing her story, we’re honoured to know you and to work with you.

Again this year the Gouldson Legal team completed the 10Km of Bridge to Brisbane alongside Team Burnslife. The money raised via this event will go to supporting burns patients and their families – towards new equipment for the burns ward, care packages, and continuing their education and support groups.

We’re honoured to support this incredible non-profit organisation and we had a great day out at the B2B with the Burnslife crew!

You can donate to the Burnslife Bridge to Brisbane here.


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