A woman who has faced death five times since her neck and breasts melted after a gas explosion says “the accident has made her stronger.”
The burns survivor was set alight after a gas can burst in her back garden as she tried to relight an ember from a fire.
Emilie Yeiser, 36, was the victim of the horrific ordeal which occurred in March 2017, and left her with traumatic third-degree burns covering 35% of her body.
The former hairstylist and makeup artist from Indiana had to re-learn how to walk, talk and eat after her neck melted into her chest and she had to have her breasts removed.
After spending four months in a medically-induced coma and undergoing 35 surgeries, she has still not lost her zest for life.
Speaking to Jam Press, she said: “I had a fire pit going in my backyard and after a while, the fire went out, so I decided to re-stack the wood to get it started again.
“I poked at the fire trying to get it to rekindle, but it didn’t work.
“So, I decided to get the gas can out and pour gas on the stack to get it started.
“While I held the can in my hands a tiny amber floated through the air towards the fumes of the can. This one tiny amber ignited, which caused the gas can to explode.”
Emily remained at Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Hospital for four months.
From there, she was transferred to Kindred Community Hospital, which is a rehabilitation hospital where she stayed for three months to heal and learn how to walk, talk and eat again.
Her mum, Bobbie, said: “The recovery process will be ongoing, probably for the rest of her life.
“I can’t describe all the pain and suffering she has been through but she is a very, very strong young lady.
“Most people would not be able to handle what she has been through.
“In June 2019, she developed a mucus plug in her lung.
“I rushed her to the hospital (she almost passed away in the car), the doctor said 30 seconds more and she would have died.
“Again, they had to life flight her via helicopter to Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Hospital.
Even with all her new challenges, Emily is “so happy to be alive” and says the accident has made her a stronger and more confident person.
Emily told Jam Press: “I live on my own with my two beautiful dogs, Oscar a labradoodle, and Susie an Aussie doodle.
“They have been the best thing in my life.
“I enjoy hanging out with friends, going to music festivals/concerts while also loving photography and to paint.
“I don’t worry about the small stuff anymore. Whatever is going to happen is going to happen to you.
“You have to have faith because there is nothing you can do about it. Don’t take your life for granted.
“Time is too precious, enjoy every day to the fullest even when you’re having a bad day.
“You’re here and you’re alive. There are worst things in the world.”