Lynn Baird suffered 80 per cent erosion to her cornea and second degree skin burns on May 22 while at a friend’s birthday party.
The 27-year-old is from Broxburn but now lives in Czech Republic near Brno and had been trying to help a pal release the floating lamp when the wax cube inside slipped out and hit her face.
She was left in ’extreme pain’ as the wax sealed her eye shut, leaving her unable to tell the difference between the candle wax and her ‘peeling skin tissue’ as she frantically tried to wash it out.
Panicked friends rushed her to hospital in Kyjov where doctors told her it was a miracle she hadn’t been blinded.
Speaking to the Daily Record about her ordeal, Lynn said: “It was scary. I held the lantern up to let it go into the sky but as it took off, the wax cube seemed to melt too fast and fell out of the lantern and right into my right eye.
“It took me a second to realise what had just happened but I heard everyone around me start to panic.
“I couldn’t open my eye at all as the wax had cooled and become stuck to my eye and the skin around my eye.
“I was in the bathroom in front of the mirror with a few people who tried to help me wash out my eye and remove the wax from my face but unfortunately, the damage was already done.
“I tried to remove most of the wax from my eye but at a certain point I couldn’t tell the difference between the wax residue and the burnt eye tissue peeling from my eye.
“It was extremely painful and simply bad luck that I was the one who got injured.
“Everyone was doing the same thing that I was, but I was the only one who got hurt.
“Everything will heal but I saw three different doctors in the last week and each of them have told me I was very lucky I didn’t lose any of my sight or have the burn go any deeper.”
Lynn feared she would be left blinded in one eye which would leave her struggling to continue working as a high school teacher.
Now her injury has drastically improved, with her burns only leaving behind a faint scar and thankfully her cornea has fully recovered.
She explained: “The doctor examined my eye and face and then removed the wax and burnt tissue from my eye.
“She told me that I had 80% erosion of my cornea and second degree burns on the skin around my eye.
“Everything will heal but I saw three different doctors in the last week and each of them have told me I was very lucky I didn’t lose any of my sight or have the burn go any deeper.
“I was more worried it would affect my vision than leave a scar.
“I’d have hated for this accident to affect my ability to see and therefore my ability to do my job.
“I teach kids, teenagers and adults, so I spend a lot of time preparing worksheets and lessons on my laptop.
“I again would be lucky that it would only affect one of my eyes but it would be hard to do this job if suddenly I lost half my sight.
“I’m happy it’s healing and I don’t think I’ll even have a small scar.
“It’s been just over a week since the burn and it’s already barely visible.
“My eyesight feels slightly worse in my right eye but it’s nothing I can’t deal with and it’s only visible to me.
“It was painful and it looked pretty awful but overall, I took it well and tried my best to see the humour in it all.”
Now that Lynn is on the mend, she is warning others to ‘think twice’ before using lanterns.
She said: “I was panicked in the first two hours but once the initial shock passed, I thought of it more as a story or a cautionary tale.
“I would tell those considering using these lanterns as part of an event to think twice, they could injure you, a friend, a family member or even start a fire in a field.
“I can’t imagine they’re great for the environment either, so I guess that’s another reason to avoid it.
“I was never really a big fan of these lanterns, as I often worry where they’ll end up or if they’ll start a fire after taking off.
“I took part in the activity as the birthday girl had bought lanterns for us all and I wanted her to be happy and enjoy her night.
“I can safely say, I won’t be attempting it again.”
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