原文載英國版《讀者文摘》2003年5月刊(Reader's Digest British Edition, 2003 May)
By Janet Boyle(譯注：Xman_99)
Ammie Reddick from East Kilbride, Lanarkshire, was only 18 months old when she had the accident that has scarred her for life. While her mother's back was turned for a moment, the inquisitive[好奇的] toddler[初學走路的孩童] reached up to grab the flex[電線] of a hot kettle[壺] in the family kitchen and poured boiling water over her tiny infant frame[稚嫩的肢體].
Her mother Ruby spun round[轉過頭來] and, seeing Ammie horribly scalded[燙傷], called an ambulance[救護車] which rushed her daughter to a nearby hospital. Twenty per cent of Ammie's body had been burned and all of her burns were third-degree. The doctors could tell immediately that Ammie's best chance of survival was a specialised burns unit some miles away at Glasgow Royal[皇家] Infirmary[醫院]. There, using tissue taken from unburned areas of Ammie's body, surgeons[外科醫生] performed complex skin grafts[移植] to close her wounds and control her injuries, an operation that took about six hours. Over the next 16 years, Ammie underwent[經受(苦難)] 12 more operations to repair her body.
When she started school at Maxwelton Primary at age four, other pupils made cruel comments or simply wouldn't play with her. "I was the only burned child in the street, the class and the school," she recalls. "Some children refused to become friends because of that."
Today, age 17, Ammie can only ever remember being a burned person with scars; pain is a permanent[持久的] part of her body. She still has to have two further skin grafts[移植]. Yet she is a confident, outgoing[開朗的] teenager who offers inspiration[鼓舞] and hope to other young burns victims[受害者].
Ammie's parents Ruby, a funeral director[葬禮承辦人], and Gibby, a policeman, have been a tremendous[極大的] support. "They told me if people had a problem with my burns, the problem was theirs not mine," says Ammie. "They taught me to cope[應付] with other people's reactions and constantly reminded me I was valued and loved." Ammie's positive philosophy[積極人生觀] means she is now in demand with burns organisations, helping younger patients build their self-esteem[自尊] to live with permanent[持久的] scars[傷痕].
She is a member of the Scottish Burned Children's Club, a charity[慈善組織] set up last year. Says Donald Todd, chairman of the club and a senior burns nurse at Edinburgh's Royal Hospital for Sick Children, "Ammie provides so much encouragement for younger ones. She is upbeat[樂觀的] and outgoing[開朗的] and a perfect role model for them."
This month, Ammie will be joining the younger children at the Graffham Water Centre in Cambridgeshire for the charity's first summer camp . "I'll show them how to shrug off[一笑了之] unkind[不友善的] stares from others," she says. Ammie loves wearing fashionable sleeveless tops[無袖上衣], and she plans to show the youngsters at summer camp that they can too. "I do not go to great lengths[刻意] to hide my burns scars," she says. "I gave up wondering how other people would react years ago."
Donald Todd believes Ammie will be invaluable[舉足輕重的] at the camp: "She is mature[成熟] beyond her years. Ammie has taken a tragic experience[悲慘的經歷] and used it to shape a very strong, helpful personality[個性]."
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