Fire dancer reveals her face is now 'falling off' following performance disaster
At the start of 2018, Sophie Lee was delighting audiences with her impressive fire dancing. However, her days of performing came to an end when she was tragically scarred in a freak accident.
In a cruel twist of fate, the 23-year-old was rushed to intensive care with severe burns to her face and chest after an air conditioning unit blew fire back on her in a Chicago club on April Fool's Day 2018.
The accident completely changed her life - this, of course, including her physical appearance. And now, The Sun has recently reported that her face is "falling off".
Brave Sophie shows off her scars back in August 2018:
Speaking out about the traumatic incident, Sophie has revealed she has keloid scarring, something she describes as a form of benign tumour that "[is] going to carry on growing and slowly overtake my face."
After the painful scars became so big that they hid her neck, the former fire dancer got NHS-funded cryosurgery to freeze the scars off her face.
"It was very painful and becoming a big burden. I had started to lose movement on my neck, because it was growing so rapidly," she told The Sun. "The scars got so big you couldn't see my neck, it came down to my chin. Because of my ethnicity, being Chinese, it was really angry and violent. The longer I left it, the bigger the keloids would have got. I was in so much pain and it was starting to alter my expressions on my face."
The four-and-a-half hour operation left her in hospital for a week and barely able to leave the house for a month after that, as the keloids peeled off her face.
Speaking to Fabulous Digital, the Instagram model, from Darwen, Lancashire, claimed her skin has been "slowly dying" since she had surgery on March 28.
She said: "The scar started to die and then my face basically fell off. Liquid nitrogen was pumped in to kill it. At first it went massive, like it had been pumped up with water. It tripled in size, it was horrendous.
"Then it just started leaking liquid nitrogen. Over the space of two months, it was starting to dry out and peel away. It was horrendous, the skin was dying and it was on my face. I couldn’t really move my neck, it was just so painful. When it actually detaches I couldn't feel anything, because it’s already died. But at the start it was really raw, fresh, skin. Showering was unbearable."
Sophie - who is "constantly suffering" due to the pain - is due for a second operation in September to remove the rest of the tumour - but there's no guarantee it will not grow back.
In the meantime, she has used her tragic experience for good, taking to social media to encourage others to learn to love themselves.
Speaking to her 63.5 followers, she tells them "beauty is only skin deep", and has claimed the fire dancing incident has spurred her to change her outlook on life.
"This accident opened me up to a whole new life and a new me," she told Confidentials back in 2018. "Before this happened I was at the peak of my career and my life depended on my appearance: as shallow as it sounds, looks made me money and a living. As a model and dancer you get judged on what you look like."
She continued: "Beauty was the be all and end all for me. But then the accident happened. I thought would people still accept me? I had to get a grip and learn to love myself, as myself."