On Sept. 30, 2016, Courtney Waldon's life changed forever when her husband went to relight a campfire and accidentally swung gas onto her body, causing the mother-of-one to become engulfed in flames. “I stopped, dropped, and rolled while screaming bloody murder,” the Georgia native told People magazine. “I thought I was dying.”
After 51 days in the hospital, 30 of which were spent in a medically-induced coma, Waldon was able to head home, though her face had been permanently disfigured with fourth-degree burns and her hands, legs, and feet had suffered third-degree burns. Two weeks later, her husband announced that he was leaving her.
“He said he couldn’t handle or deal with me any longer," she revealed. “It was a blessing in disguise. I think if he was around he would be holding me down. I wouldn’t be as strong as I am today and wouldn’t have made as much progress.”
Despite all that she's been through, Waldon's positive outlook has inspired everyone who's heard her story. “They said if the ambulance arrived one minute later I wouldn’t have made it,” she explained. “I shouldn’t be here but I am. I know that there are people out there who have it worse than I do. I’ve always been a believer that everything happens for a reason and I still believe that."
The house being built for Waldon and her daughter.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help support Waldon and her five-year-old daughter Caroline (from a previous relationship) since she's unable to work because of her disabilities. Though she currently lives with her parents, Refuge Ministries of West Georgia is building the 27-year-old a separate home on the property.
“The support I’ve received has been unbelievable,” she shared. “I am so blessed.” The most recent update on the GoFundMe page, which was posted one month ago, reads, "Courtney wants to thank everyone from the bottom of her heart for each and every donation! She says her heart is Full and is truly HUMBLED by everyone's generosity. Thank you all for the prayers. Please continue to pray! She will be having a lengthy and delicate surgery on her eyes in a couple of weeks." Our thoughts are with her as she continues to recover!