Robert Clack teenager reveals scars for first time
PUBLISHED: 15:26 15 July 2011 | UPDATED: 15:38 15 July 2011
A Dagenham teenager, badly burnt in an arson attack eight years ago, bravely revealed her scars for the first time as she enjoyed her end of year prom.
Vicky Chaundy, who has always kept her scars covered in public, shone in a pretty blue strapless dress at the school do at Orsett Hall in Grays on Monday.
In 2003, the pupil of Robert Clack School in Dagenham, now 16, suffered 33 per cent burns to her body and was left fighting for her life after her uncle’s pub in Stoke Newington was torched.
As reported in the Post, the blaze tragically killed her two cousins aged five and 10, as well as a pub customer who saved Vicky’s life.
After three months in hospital the youngster was allowed home but has returned for operations every year to help reduce the scarring to her torso, arms and neck and chin.
Vicky, of Turnage Road, has felt very self-conscious about her appearance and before Monday wore only tops and dresses which covered her arms and shoulders.
But for her prom she was determined to wear a beautiful dress like her friends, so bravely decided to reveal the scars for the first time.
She said: “I used to worry a lot about what others thought, but recently I’ve become more confident. Before the prom I thought ‘I’m not going to care any more’. I’m so glad I wore the dress – loads of people said lovely things and I had a fantastic time.”
Mother Kim Knight said she was “very proud” of her daughter. “It wasn’t easy for her to show off her scars, but she was great and it seems she had a wonderful time. She looked beautiful.”
Vicky will start a health and social studies course at Havering College this autumn and hopes to become a nurse.
“I’ve been inspired by the many nurses who have cared for me over the years,” she said.
Dealing with the tragedy has been very difficult for the family, says Kim, but added: “We are slowly moving on.”
No one has been convicted of the attack.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Barking and Dagenham Post. Click the link in the orange box above for details.