As with many burn survivors, Maria’s trauma happened at a young age with a scalding liquid. At only 2 years old, 40% of her scalp sustained burns causing an altered head shape and difficulty in growing hair.

Scald injuries are caused from hot liquid, steam or food that makes contact with the skin and will result in first, second or third degree burns depending on temperature and length of exposure. Each year, medical professionals treat hundreds of scalds in our region, particularly to young children and senior adults.

Locally in San Diego, scalds are the leading cause of burn injuries. 

Maria first came to the Burn Institute at age 13 and by that point she was going through an extremely painful, lengthy process to expand the tissue on her scalp. Due to the numerous medical appointments for the procedure she was forced to miss school. So that Maria would not fall behind on her studies, the Burn Institute paid for tutoring services and assisted with transportation needs such as gas cards and parking passes to ease the family’s financial burden on getting to her appointments.

Once Maria’s procedure was complete, the Burn Institute presented her with two real-hair wigs which significantly boosted her self-esteem. She beamed with joy to lessen the constant public attention and could face the world with new-found confidence!

If you would like to help young burn survivors gain self-esteem and take on the world with confidence, please consider supporting our programs here.