My Story Journey as a Burn Survivor
My name is Kenny Matthews, but you can call me Ken or Kendawg, & I am a burn survivor from Sacramento, California.
Many people have labeled me as the, "burnt guy", "burnt person" or a "burn victim", but I am none of those labels. I am a human-being who happened to be in a horrible accident & survived; I am a survivor, not a victim. I am here to tell my story hoping somebody will feel inspired & be motivated to be great in whatever aspect that's needed in their life.
Shining My Light & Sharing Inspiration
How I was Burned
I get a lot of questions about my condition, however the main question is, "how did you get burned?"
I was 3-years-old when my accident happened.
We were living in an apartment when a fire broke out due to a gas leak. I was playing with my toys, while watching TV, when all of a sudden I heard the living room window shatter. The room quickly filled up with smoke & that’s when I saw the flames.
I didn't know what to do, so I panicked & cried for help.
My grandfather, who was sleeping in the living room, woke up coughing due to smoke inhalation. I tried everything that I could have done to save me & my grandfather's life. Unlocking the door was very hard for me to do. Everything was coming down on us so fast & my grandfather only had one concern & that was saving me from dying.
The next thing I knew, my grandfather was carrying me over to the window where the fire had started. I can remember that the flames were so hot & so excruciatingly painful that I begged him to stop. The fire burned my clothing & 85% of my body.
When the ambulance arrived, my grandfather was pronounced dead on the scene.
What I Have Learned About Being Bullied
Now, to all the kids that are here & listening, I would like to teach you something that I have learned in life when it comes to being bullied. Please, keep in mind that instead of being here speaking to you I could've very well have died in the fire. I could also have become a person that's filled with so much hate towards people due to the very hateful words & treatment I experienced, that it would prevent such beautiful moments like this, like, being able to speak & inspire such an awesome group of people like The Essential Life community.
I’ve been called a monster...I mean, I GET IT ... because of my scars, but I'm not THAT UGLY ...&, I've even heard people say, "He looks like he has AIDS or HIV." I'm pretty sure that there are a lot of people out there that can relate to being called names or picked on.
Well, here is my advice...
Instead of being mad & addressing someone, follow a simple mandate that I have learned in life which is, "understand & pursue LOVE."
Pursuing LOVE has helped me to forgive others that say hurtful things about me. Pursuing LOVE HAS FILLED MY HEART with compassion instead of hate. I didn't think it would be as easy as it been but it has. Nothing else matters to me except being able to wake up very morning & live my life knowing GOD has bestowed me with a chance.
I was given the chance to LIVE. God gave me the chance to help others. He offered me the chance to conquer goals that others think are impossible for me to do.
I am grateful!
A Message From The Essential Life
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About The Author - Kenny Matthew
At the age of 3, Kenny was burned in a fire that claimed the life of his grandfather, who passed away after carrying 3-year-old Kenny, through the flames & to safety. The incident left Kenny with burns to 85% of his body & a tough road ahead.
Now, as a 29-year-old many, Kenny has grown into a strong & positive individual who sees his life through the eyes of gratitude & feels blessed to be here to offer inspiration & motivation to those who are in need of hearing his message.
We would also like to ask that member of our community help Kenny raise money for ongoing medical treatment that he will need throughout his life. Please donate on Kenny's GoFundMe page.