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Not many could fathom just how traumatic it would’ve been for a woman who had 64 percent of her body and face severely burned in a malicious attack. But a published memoir written by Dana Vulin, a burn survivor in Australia, reveals just how resilient she has been at a time when her “dreams were ripped away.” We can also see her incredible recovery after the painful journey.
Dana Vulin, a 33-year-old woman from Perth, was attacked in the early hours of Feb. 16, 2012, by Natalie Dimitrovska, who was jealous of Vulin speaking to her estranged husband once while at the casino. Dimitrovska broke into Vulin’s home and doused her with methylated spirits before setting her on fire.
“The flames spread to my head, my hair went up in seconds and when I reached up to wipe the burning chemicals off my face, my hands were already on fire,” Vulin recounted, news.com.au reported.
‘There is no amount of anything that you know that can prepare you for this,’
The jealous Dimitrovska, who was high on ice during the attack, even laughed at Vulin when she screamed in pain. “She was laughing at me while I burnt alive. When I stood up the flames were getting worse and I could barely think through the pain,” Vulin said. “I turned to the sink, trying to put the flames out by pouring a bucket of water over myself.”
Dimitrovska was sentenced to 17 years in prison for the attack, which left Vulin with horrific third-degree burns covering 64 percent of her body and face. As a result, she had to undergo over 200 reconstructive surgeries on her body and face. “Within seconds, Dana’s former life, her physical functioning, her independence, her goals and dreams were ripped away,” Vulin described on her website.
In 2012, Dana Vulin became the victim of a horrific crime: a woman jealous that Dana had talked to her estranged husband…
Vulin went through painful rehabilitation for years. She told The Epoch Times she was required to wear a compression mask on her face for nearly three years. When she was to take off her mask after having it on for almost three years to reveal her new face, she had to overcome another ordeal—cervical cancer.
Fortunately, she conquered cancer after undergoing many operations. “I never chose to be burnt alive, but I did choose to fight for my family, my friends, and my life. I’m not just alive, I’m living!” she told LittleThings.
Five years after the attack, Vulin published a book titled “Worth Fighting For,” which details her recovery journey. In the book, she recalled how she “came back from death’s door slowly,” following a days-long coma.
“While I slept, I dreamt. Snatches of memory, fantasy, nightmare,” Vulin wrote. “These dreams faded in and out, but Svetlana [Vulin’s sister] was in some of them.” She continued: “Sometimes it was just the impression of her, a feeling, maybe her voice or a snatch of song that reached me in the coma.”
Vulin finally woke up when her sister was singing “Step by Step” by Whitney Houston. “No one thought it was physically possible [to recover so much],” she told MailOnline in 2017.
“I feel like I’ve won gold at the Olympics. It’s taken a lot of hard work to get here—it’s been a five-and-a-half-year journey,” she said. “It’s ironic I woke up to that Whitney Houston song. Because my journey has been bit by bit and step by step.”
If this is what it looks like to feel and be 33 then count me in. A major appreciation post coming up and not just for…
Vulin, who turned 33 in March 2019, reflected on her ordeal in a Facebook post. She wrote: “I am so happy at where I am in my life. The fact that I nearly didn’t make it here blows my mind. Death knocked on my door more then once and I fought it more times then I can count.”
“I could never imagine I would of made one of the biggest recoveries in the world. I would of never dreamed I’d look in the mirror and be happy with what I see,” Vulin added. “I’ve travelled, lived and loved. I can’t even begin to imagine what my future will bring because at this stage I’m still waiting to wake up from my dream life instead of the nightmare I lived for years.”
Life is “worth fighting for.” He who has braved the storm of life and survived is a happier man. Vulin’s remarkable story of survival in the face of unimaginable horror is an inspiration to us all.
Vulin is currently studying a masters degree in science at a university. She is also a motivational speaker, traveling the world to share her story of survival, determination, and hope. Follow the Instagram account of Vulin (@dana_vulin) to get the latest updates on her life.
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Author: Li Yen