It has taken 45 years, but Sylvia Mac is no longer ashamed of her burns and is now finding novel ways of helping others who are disfigured

‘A year ago, I probably wouldn’t have met you,” explains Sylvia Mac. “I would have said I would, and then made up an excuse.” She shakes her head. “I was forever making excuses just so I didn’t meet people.”

After suffering severe third and fourth degree burns to her back and other parts of her body at the age of three, Sylvia, 49, had spent her life covering up her scars and thinking up ways to avoid situations. Her confidence destroyed by years of hurtful comments and thinly disguised stares, at her lowest she had considered ending her own life. “I didn’t really know what depression was. I didn’t realise my mental health was being affected – I just thought this was a physical thing.”

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