Before recovery in hospital. Alicia Gomez /

By Liana Jacob

THIS former model thought she was going to die when she was engulfed in flames whilst cooking and now plans on getting surgery to cover up her scars.

Two-and-a-half-years-ago when make-up artist and single mother, Alicia Gomez (25), from Brussels, Belgium, was cooking with oil in a pan which she had covered with a lid disaster struck when she removed the lid and the pan instantly flared up.

Before accident. Alicia Gomez /


The fire spread all over her body turning her into a ‘human torch’ but she reacted quickly by rolling on the floor. It took just seconds for the fire to spread and her clothes clung to her skin from her third-degree burns, she recalls having flash-backs of her life as she rolled around.

She has since had to get skin grafts all over her body and two-and-a-half years later she is still receiving treatment for her injuries.

“I was just in front of the hob, so the flames spread on me; all of my clothes got burned and some parts of them were stuck onto my skin,” Alicia said.

Before. Alicia Gomez /


“I didn’t know what to do until I remembered in the movies they all roll over on the floor, so that’s what I did because I was a real human torch.

“The fire spread so fast; I thought I was going to die. I had a lot of memories of my life flashing through my head when I was rolling on the floor. The pain was unbearable.

“I felt like I was about to pass out, but I had the strength to tell myself that I needed to get up for my daughter; to unlock myself out of my apartment so that someone could call the ambulance or firefighters.

Just after the accident. Alicia Gomez /


“I got up, looked at myself in the mirror, my face was so swollen, and my skin was so white. I didn’t think I was severely burned because I wasn’t red or brown like most burns are; just white and swollen.

“I realised they were serious when the doctors told me I had to have surgery since the scars were too deep to heal.

“Two-and-a-half years since the accident and I still go to the Kinesiotherapy almost every day to recover the mobility I lost, I also follow an lipo-massage (LPG) machine treatment for the scars.

Just after the accident. Alicia Gomez /


“I am planning to get surgery and tattoos in order to make the scars a little less obvious.

“I was a model and my career was great; I was really happy with how my life was turning out until it happened.

“It was very hard for me to cope with it at first because I was telling myself that my body was important if I still wanted to be a model;

Now. Alicia Gomez /


“I thought it was over; I convinced myself that I was ugly and disgusting before realising I was actually getting better with time.

“I feel great now; I have my confidence back, I feel pretty, I feel alive and I am enjoying life at his fullest even more than before. I have learned to accept my new body.

“I didn’t really have support, so I was relying on the hospital crew who helped me a lot and obviously, my daughter who kept me going.

Now. Alicia Gomez /


“I wasn’t taking life seriously before it happened, I was reckless. It made me realise that you have to live your life to the fullest.”

Alicia says that the loneliness she felt throughout her recovery journey was the hardest part, but she still had visits from some of her family.

“The loneliness, the misunderstanding of the people around me and mostly to try and accept my ‘new’ body after all was very hard,” she said.

Now. Alicia Gomez /


“I stopped working, I stopped going out, I put my social life aside, so I could focus on myself and I lost pretty much everyone.

“I took the time for me and it made me so much happier with myself; sometimes you have to make hard decisions in order to find yourself.

“Some of my family cried, some of them made jokes about it, some of them (surprisingly) came to visit me in the hospital. And most of them probably pitied me.

Now. Alicia Gomez /


“It was very difficult for me at the beginning to talk about the incident, so I had tears in my eyes and it felt like I was re-living the fire all over again every time someone asked me about it.

“Always look ahead, never look back. Keep your chin up and start living with your personality, not your body. You’ll be a better person your yourself and for everyone.”

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