Man reveals he got 1% chance of life after covering his body in flammable liquid as a toddler peuter

A man scarred after surviving a terrifying explosion as a toddler now shares the importance of self-love on TikTok after he 230,000 fans.

Joshua Reyes, 32, of Weslaco, Texas, was just two when the horrific accident happened in August 1991, while traveling to Mexico with his mother Martha and his father, evangelist, Eddie.

The family was walking outside one day during their visit when Joshua grabbed a bottle of liquid what he thought was water and poured the contents down his neck to cool off in the blistering heat.

Suddenly, though, his body started to feel even hotter and he realized something was wrong. He had unknowingly poured a flammable liquid over himself.

He threw the bottle across the room, which landed on a boiler and caught fire before Joshua’s father Eddie grabbed his family and quickly ran away from the explosion.

Sadly, Martha later died in hospital while Joshua suffered third-degree burns on 95 percent of his body — and was told he only had a one percent chance of survival.

Joshua Reyes (pictured), 32, of Weslaco, Texas, was just two when the horrific accident happened in August 1991, while traveling to Mexico with his mother Martha and his father, evangelist, Eddie.

The family was walking outside one day during their visit when Joshua (pictured shortly before the accident) grabbed a bottle of liquid he thought was water and poured the contents down his neck to cool off in the blistering heat.

The family was walking outside one day during their visit when Joshua (pictured shortly before the accident) grabbed a bottle of liquid he thought was water and poured the contents down his neck to cool off in the blistering heat.

Joshua doesn’t remember how he got hold of the liquid or where he got it from.

After the explosion, Joshua and Martha were both seriously injured and transported to a hospital in Galveston, Texas. Sadly, Joshua’s mother died in hospital due to complications.

Joshua suffered third-degree burns on 95 percent of his body, including his face, torso, arms, legs and back — and doctors gave him only a one percent chance of survival.

“My father heroically saved both me and my mother, who had also tried to save me,” recalls Joshua. “My burns were so severe that 95 percent of my body was covered in third-degree burns.

Suddenly, though, his body started to feel even hotter and he realized something was wrong

Joshua (pictured) had unknowingly poured a flammable liquid over himself

Suddenly, though, his body started to feel even hotter and he realized something was wrong. Joshua (pictured) had unknowingly poured a flammable liquid over himself

He threw the bottle across the room, which landed on a boiler and caught fire before Joshua's father Eddie grabbed his family and quickly ran away from the explosion.  Pictured, Joshua at age six with dad Eddie Reyes

He threw the bottle across the room, which landed on a boiler and caught fire before Joshua’s father Eddie grabbed his family and quickly ran away from the explosion. Pictured, Joshua at age six with dad Eddie Reyes

“The doctor said he’d never seen anything like it and it was the maximum he’d ever seen anyone burn.”

Incredibly, Joshua managed to beat the odds and survive the ordeal – but the recovery process was excruciating.

The survivor recalled being bathed in a medical bath in a hospital to disinfect his body in an incredibly painful ordeal.

“The recovery was pretty brutal,” Joshua explained. “I remember how hard it was to take my first step, it was hard to take a shower.

“They would give you these bed pools where they would treat skin wounds to remove dirt to disinfect your body, and it was the most painful thing you could ever feel.” It was water with medicine in it, so it burns.

Sadly, Martha later died in hospital while Joshua (pictured) suffered third-degree burns on 95 percent of his body — and was told he only had a one percent chance of survival

Sadly, Martha later died in hospital while Joshua (pictured) suffered third-degree burns on 95 percent of his body — and was told he only had a one percent chance of survival

“Then they took you out and scraped you out of hell with a narrow-looking ice scoop to get all the debridement out so you can heal properly.”

Joshua spent a year and a half in hospital recovering from his injuries and has since had 90 surgeries, including skin grafts and surgeries to increase his mobility.

He had spinal surgery at the age of 20, which was the last surgery he had, as he is now at peace with his appearance and not interested in cosmetic surgery.

He added: ‘I’m happy with the way I look – at least I’m happy with how things are going for me. I am satisfied with how I look. If there’s scar tissue I can have removed to make me feel more comfortable, yes, I’m all for that.’

Joshua (pictured) spent a year and a half in hospital recovering from his injuries and has since had 90 surgeries, including skin grafts and surgeries to increase his mobility

He had spinal surgery when he was 20 years old which was the last surgery he had as he is now at peace with his appearance and not interested in cosmetic surgery

Joshua (pictured) spent a year and a half in hospital recovering from his injuries and has since had 90 surgeries, including skin grafts and surgeries to increase his mobility

Now Joshua (pictured as a toddler) is using his TikTok page to spread happiness and positivity - urging people to love themselves and the outdoors

Now Joshua (pictured as a toddler) is using his TikTok page to spread happiness and positivity – urging people to love themselves and the outdoors

Now he uses his TikTok page to spread happiness and positivity – urging people to love themselves inside and out.

He has amassed more than 230,000 followers on the app, where he posts funny comments on viral videos and also teaches people lessons in self-acceptance.

“Self-acceptance is one of the most important things we need to understand about ourselves,” Joshua said. ‘True self-love is accepting who you are and what you look like.

“And it doesn’t matter what anyone else says, as long as you accept and love yourself for who you are. For example, I know exactly what I look like. I jokingly tell people I know I look like a burnt potato.

“But I love myself because I accept myself for who I am and how I look, and that’s why I consider myself beautiful and handsome.

‘I am not delusional. Self-acceptance is one of the most beautiful things you can do.’

BURNS – WHAT ARE THEY AND HOW DO YOU TREAT THEM?

Burns are damage to the skin caused by dry heat, such as an iron or fire.

This is different from burns, which are caused by wet heat such as hot water or steam.

Burns can be very painful and can lead to:

  • Red or flaky skin
  • Blisters
  • Swelling
  • White or charred skin

But the amount of pain a person feels isn’t always related to how severe the burn is.

Even a very severe burn can be painless.

To treat a burn:

  • Remove the heat source
  • Cool off with cold or lukewarm running water for 20 minutes. Do not use ice
  • Remove any clothing or jewelry in the area unless it is attached to the skin
  • Keep the person warm with a blanket
  • Cover the burn with cling film
  • Use painkillers such as paracetamol if necessary
  • If the face or eyes are sunburnt, sit up straight to reduce swelling

Burns that require immediate emergency treatment include:

  • Chemical or electrical
  • Big or deep – bigger than the hand of the injured person
  • The ones that cause white or charred skin
  • Those on the face, hands, limbs, feet or genitals that blister

Pregnant women, children under the age of five, the elderly, people with weak immune systems and people with medical conditions such as diabetes should also go to hospital.

Treatment depends on which layers of the skin are affected.

In severe cases, a skin graft may be required.

Source: NHS Choices

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