Mei-Ling Buggins

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8/8/05 -6 months pregnant and had flaming hot chip fat poured over me. Opened the front door to get away from it and run but oxygen sucked through the door as I opened it and fed the flames and caught me up in being on fire. I ran outside and screamed. Remembered that my body was starting to go into shock and that my insides would kill anything alien to my body unless I relieved the shock and cried or screamed or urinated. I couldn’t cry and I somehow lost my voice to scream so I just stood there in the road completely naked because my egyptian cotton maxi dress I was wearing went up in the flames and so did my knickers and I urinated. One arm cupping across just above my breast and the other across me under my other arm protecting my bump. I couldn’t feel a thing. So I sat down and just felt the rage seep through me. My child’s biological father came out after looking at his foot and hands because the splash back got him a little. He shouted something to me as he was further up the road because I walked a bit before sitting down. I didn’t hear what he said. My body and brain was shutting down. Students wrap ice cold wet towels round me until the ambulance came. They wrapped me in a foil blanket and applied tea tree to the burns which felt like flames all over me again. I was put in the ambulance and given gas and air until we reached Treliske as I needed morphine. As soon as I had the morphine I was back in the ambulance and rushed to Bristol Frenchay burns unit and I saw 3 nurses in a dim litted corridor with objects in their hands. My blisters were the size of rugby balls and these nurses were bursting them with scissors. I don’t remember much after that.

Few days later a healthcare assistant wouldn’t change my catheter bag, removed my emergency buzzer from my reach and I was paralysed from bandages and splints. Told me I didn’t deserve this baby and that I probably deserved what I got, as no doubt she had spoken to my child’s biological father (she was reported to head).

The rest were very lovely and helped me despite me being an utter bitch and spitting vile words at them all, remember I am still pregnant. 6 months gone and expecting a beautiful baby boy.

Days turned into weeks, I was healing well and my baby growing strong.

Nearing the end of my time in hospital I had to learn how to walk again, 7 months pregnant with splints on my feet covered like a mummy even my hands. My morale was that if I do this quick the sooner I’ll get good enough to push my baby in his new pram I saved so hard to get. So I pushed myself to near exhaustion. By my 18th birthday I was still using a wheelchair but could move a few feet with crutches on my own. Baby was due on 28th November.

14/11/05 Sat at home alone, mum had gone Bingo and step dad to a pub quiz, I was enjoying some me time in front the TV. My parents deserved their nights out, they lived in a B&B in Bristol for the entire duration of my treatments and ops and were still caring for me 24/7 at home, giving up their jobs to do so.  I felt a huge pain in my stomach that caused a searing sharp dagger pain down into my bum.

I phoned my step dad who assured me I just needed to fart..! And put the phone down.

So now I am ringing my mum who is at bingo. I tell her and she tells me to call the hospital and she will meet me there.
I was in labour and I hadn’t managed to walk totally alone fully yet.

Got to the hospital and I was in labour, the doctor examined me to see how dilated I was but being young and not knowing the routine they do, I slapped him and told him “How dare you touch me”! Nurses laughed and he was quite taken aback! Not sure what happened next but I was rushed into have a C-Section.

Out came a beautiful healthy baby boy.

I was a mum and it was the best feeling in the world. I never let him out my sight, not once. I couldn’t hold him close as I wanted to or do much for him as I was still extremely raw and sore all over my body so my mum was a second mother to my baby and she helped me incredibly. She did everything! Helped me and ensured my angel was fed, watered, changed, soothed, loved and warm whilst I still couldn’t completely. I could do some things but not all.

Me and that little boy have never left each others sides since and he is now 10years old. His biological father didn’t want to know him,so my son has never really known him. He knows his name and what he looks like but he also has no interest in knowing him back.
I now have  17 month old son and a Gorgeous husband to be in 4 days time.

My miracle baby who survived with me is autistic and knows my partner as his dad and also has his legal surname.

We are the Buggins Family.

I’m proud of my scars, they saved my son and me. A few war wounds tells a story, I’m unique, I have history to tell.

I am strong and I’ll take a thousand more scars for my children.

-Mei-ling Buggins, 28 years old, Cornwall, UK