Dana Vulin suffered burns over 60 percent of her body after being lit on fire by a jealous woman.
In February of 2012 at the age of 25, Dana experienced one of the most horrific things imaginable — she was burned alive. The Australian survivor has recently released a memoir titled ‘Worth Fighting For‘ documenting her story of strength and survival.
Dana was at home, asleep on her couch when a drug-crazed Natalie Dimitrovska snuck inside with a man named Daniel Stone. Natalie was jealous that Dana had spoken to her estranged husband at a party. Natalie woke Dana up, demanding to know where her husband was. A stunned Dana was completely clueless as to what Natalie was talking about.
The crazed woman grabbed a candle that contained an extremely flammable methylated spirit. She uncapped the fluid and threw it on Dana — she was instantly covered in flames.
“Waving her hand in a zigzagging motion, she doused me with the chemical, hitting my face, arms, chest, everything from the waist up,’ Dana recalled in her new book Worth Fighting For. “The methylated spirits caught the naked flame in my hand and suddenly the whole world was 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.”
Dana was screaming as loud as she possibly could for help as Natalie and Daniel escaped through her back door. Dana’s dog, Killer, was whining in terror and confusion across the room. She managed to open her front door and run across the hall to kick on the neighbor’s door — but no one answered.
Dana ended up screaming so loudly that she drew the attention of someone in the gym of a nearby apartment complex. A man named Denis Ericson ran to Dana’s aid and comforted her while he called an ambulance to help.
“Denis was great, so calm, and spoke to me really nicely to get me into the shower,” Dana recalls. “Asking me my name, telling me everything would be okay, that help was on the way, to just hang in there and that everything would be all right.”
After being taken to the hospital by an ambulance, Dana would spend the next two days in a coma.
During her coma, Dana remembers having dreams about her sister Svetlana. When she finally regained consciousness, her sister was there singing Whitney Houston’s “Step by Step,” a song they both loved while growing up.
As it turns out, the lyrics to that Whitney Houston song would prove to mean a lot to Dana over the next few years. Her recovery was going to be long and hard, but she would power through it and survive one day at a time.
Natalie Dimitrovska received a jail sentence of 17 years, while Dana would undergo hundreds of surgeries to help the third-degree burns over two-thirds of her body.
In addition to all of the necessary skin grafts and procedures, Dana was required to wear a compression mask on her face for two and a half years and a body garment for three years. She spent a year in the hospital having the skin on her chest completely replaced three times.
Dana calls herself a bit of “modern-day Frankenstein” and feels that she’s living proof of what modern medicine can do.
“I feel like I’ve won gold at the Olympics,” she told Daily Mail Australia. “It’s taken a lot of hard work to get here – it’s been a five-and-a-half-year journey.”
You can find out more about Dana’s story by purchasing her memoir or reading more at her website. It’s an amazing story of perseverance and strength.
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