Feeling normal

13-year-old girl, disfigured by fire as an infant, overjoyed by specially designed wig

(screen grab via BBC)

At only a few months old, Shamiam Arif was horrifically burned when a candle a fell into her cot. Her family lived in a remote part of Pakistan, and by the time they got help infection had already started to spread through her skin, bones, and brain. A British charity worker who heard about Shamiam’s plight organized for charity Muslim Hands to pay for her to come to Britain for treatment, a process which has taken countless procedures and more than a decade.

Throughout that decade Shamiam has had to wear a helmet — the fire damaged her skull to such an extent she’s missing a large area of bone towards the front of her head. But a company called Raoul Wigmakers, working with charity Little Princess Trust, has specially designed a wig and adapted it to fit to a plate, made by the hospital team to protect Shamiam’s skull. “It makes me feel like a normal girl,” says Shamiam. “I don’t want to stay with it [the helmet] for ever.” Shamiam’s treatment will continue for years to come, but Shamiam’s mother says watching her daughter wearing the wig was the happiest she’d ever seen her. “She is pretty and normal, and she maybe has her confidence back,” said the mother. “She is so happy today.”

Read the full story at BBC News.

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