Terri Calvesbert was only 18 months old when she became the victim of a fire at her home in Ipswich, England.
She was able to make it alive even though she suffered 90 percent burns. One of the firefighters who saw her when she was engulfed in flames thought it was a plastic doll.
He said in the Channel 5 documentary, The Girl With 90% Burns, “I have never seen anybody with extreme burns to that degree. She was so badly burnt I could not extend her neck to resuscitate her, and her body was rock hard. No one was expecting Terri to survive.”
Terri’s mother Julie recalled in an interview with The Sun, “She was normally such a brilliant sleeper, so I didn’t understand why she wouldn’t settle. I never smoked in the flat, but this one night I did. I don’t know why to this day, I did such a stupid thing.”
It turned out that Julie left a stick of cigarette in Terri’s room and walked out hoping that she could fall asleep. It wasn’t long before she started screaming and when she got to her room, her baby was engulfed in flames.
Julie said, “I just panicked, I couldn’t see anything but smoke and flames. I died 911. I remember running into the kitchen and getting a bowl and filling it with water and throwing it into the bedroom, but it made no difference. So many people have said to me since that I should have gone in there and got her. But I panicked.”
Terri told the Daily Mail, “When it comes to that night in November, I kind of get a horrible feeling inside. But that’s the only time it affects me. What happened does stay with me, but I’m proud of myself for what I have achieved.”
Terri spent over 6 months at the hospital as she had little chance of surviving. She required more than 40 skin grafts.
Julie couldn’t stand seeing what she did to her daughter so she left, leaving Terri with her father, paul.
With the love and help of her dad, she was able to beat all odds.
Paul told the people, “We have all moved on now and I wasn’t going to stop Terri from seeing her mum if she wanted to. We go round to meet her at Julie’s mum’s house so the two of them can sit down and talk for a bit. It works well because they can see each other without Terri’s life with us being too interrupted.”
“Terri is doing brilliantly at the moment, enjoying school and coping very well with everything,” he added. It’s nice to see her happy and settling in, especially after the latest operation, on her hand, was such a difficult one. Terri is a real inspiration and I am very, very proud.”
Terri found love a few years back and tied the knot on July 18, 2020. She has a daughter, Poppy-Mae who is now five years old.