Nahobi Perez /

By Liana Jacob

MEET the brave mum who survived a gas explosion which put her in a four-month-long coma as a child and defied doctors who said she wouldn’t live through the night.

Student and mum-of-two, Nahobi Perez, from Boston, USA, was just five-years-old when she almost died from a gas explosion in her house.

Nahobi’s first birthday. Nahobi Perez /


Nahobi fell into a coma for four months but survived and now has two daughters, Anaya and Avery.

“My loved ones were devastated when the doctors said I would not make it past seven o’clock that night, so to have us alive makes them extremely happy,” she said.

“I don’t know the details of how the explosion happened; I don’t like bothering my mother by bringing up such a horrible day in our lives.

Nahobi and her brother before the accident. Nahobi Perez /


“I had to have multiple surgeries to give me a more ‘normal’ look and to make life a bit easier for me, I guess.

“I used to sleep with my eyes open, so I had surgery for that and my fingers are frozen in the position I was hugging my brother.

“I’ve had over twenty operations, mostly skin grafters, with the longest duration in the hospital being a week.

Nahobi Perez /

“Shriners Children’s Hospital for Burns was really my second home; I was there so often that I knew most of the nurses.

“I loved being there because of how nicely they treated me and with so much love. I had two to three surgeries every year from when I was five to when I was eleven years old.”

Despite having many skin grafts; on her nose, eyes, mouth, breasts, fingers with strangers staring at her in shock, Nahobi never let the incident lower her confidence.

Nahobi Perez /

“It’s part of my life, so I don’t hate it. I no longer feel the stares, I would say and if I meet eyes with someone who is staring at me, I just smile and introduce myself; I’ve made a lot of friends this way,” she said.

“I was so young that I didn’t realise what had happened. I received therapy to make sure I was okay emotionally and the therapist wrote me off the first day.

“I was always very independent and even at the age of five, I didn’t want any help with anything; I requested for my doctor to make me a special spoon so that I could feed myself.

Nahobi with her mother. Nahobi Perez /


“I didn’t let anyone baby me or feel bad for me. I don’t know how, but my self-esteem was never shattered, and I never felt ‘different’ or ‘ugly’, I always feel beautiful.

“While I was great emotionally and mentally, I was in and out of the hospital; I was born with asthma and the smoke inhalation made my lungs and health worse.

“My left lung doesn’t function at full capacity and I would frequently contract pneumonia and have many asthma attacks.

Nahobi with her brother. Nahobi Perez /

“People ask me all the time how I have such a good self-esteem; I really don’t know. I thank God for keeping me alive and that gratefulness keeps me going.

“My mum also gave me so much love and my family in general, so I didn’t feel ‘different’.

“She didn’t allow me to feel bad for myself because she never pitied me; she treated me just like my sisters who weren’t burnt.

Pregnant Nahobi with her daughter. Nahobi Perez /

“My mother is the reason I am who I am, and I thank her so much for it. Seeing her continue with her life even after losing her partner and possessions in the fire gave me hope.

“So many people die in fires, so I feel like the lucky ones who survive, should live their lives to the fullest and be grateful for every second of it. Don’t let anyone tell you how to live your life.”

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Nahobi with her daughter and boyfriend. Nahobi Perez /