'His determination is really inspiring' - brave Gisborne teen shares story of being badly burned as a youngster

Every week in New Zealand five children are burned badly enough they are hospitalised.

One such victim is Gisborne Boys’ High student Matthew Nom, who was badly burned after he threw petrol on a fire as a child.

He was so severely burned surgeons did not think he would pull through.

Matthew told his story to TVNZ 1's Marae.

“I’m sharing my story because I want people to know that it wasn’t easy for me to get through trials, but other people can,” Matthew told the programme.

Matthew hasn’t always been open about his accident, which left his body scarred.

“I’m self-conscious, but when I’m at home I’m okay wearing shorts and stuff.”

Most children who are seriously burned are burned at home by scalding water, hot drinks or fire.

Five children aged under 15 die every year from their burns.

The often traumatic experience has a profound effect on the victim and their families.

Matthew’s mother Hineari Nom says she remembers the day the ambulance came to pick up her son after his accident.

“There’s not many ways to describe what that looks like, feels like, and even smells like.

“It’s not something I like to revisit.”

Despite his accident, Ms Nom says her son is moving on with his life.

“He’s still pulling pranks on people and playing with his mates.

“His determination is really inspiring.”

Original story by Marae reporter Hikurangi Jackson


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