A musical theatre student left with permanent scars after fainting onto a hot radiator has entered a beauty pageant to encourage people to love the skin they are in whilst raising money for a charity close to her heart.
In March 2020 life changed drastically for people around the world as lockdown began as a result of the coronavirus pandemic but in March 2019 life changed for very different reasons for 15 year-old Sophie Kibble from Red House in Sunderland.
The teenager experienced months of worry and hospital appointments after she was left with burns requiring skin grafts after fainting onto a hot radiator early in the morning on March 22.
Sophie regularly experiences fainting episodes so when she didn’t return from the bathroom early one morning, her parents began to worry and went down to check on her. Her dad Tony rushed her to Sunderland Royal Hospital after finding her with her head and arm against the radiator.
Sophie’s skin had immediately started to blister and after an assessment she was transferred to the specialist Regional Burns and Plastic Surgery Unit (Ward 11) at the Great North Children’s Hospital where she continues to receive regular care.
Prior to injuries, Sophie entered the Miss Teen Pageant Girl UK but presumed she hadn’t got in however on the last school day before lockdown began she was surprised to find out she had been accepted to attend the event, which will now take place in July next summer.
As part of the pageant Sophie was asked to do some charity work and quickly chose to do a sponsored walk from Roker to South Shields with her mum Lindsay and is now on a mission to thank the Great North Children’s Hospital for the ‘amazing care’ they gave her.
Sophie who is a student at Newcastle College is raising funds for the Grafters Club and the Children’s Burns Fund. Both funds are part of the Great North Children’s Hospital Foundation and support children and their families in the North East and Cumbria who have who have experienced burn injuries.
The Great North Children’s Hospital Foundation is part of the family of Newcastle Hospitals Charity and aims to make a difference for children and families at GNCH.
Sophie’s mum Lindsay says:
Her dad and I are just so immensely proud of Sophie, the whole family are. She is such a lovely girl, with a big heart, a fantastic attitude, and is a great role model to her three siblings, it doesn’t matter who you are she will help you however she can.
She’s been so proactive with her fundraising, as well as supporting the children’s hospital, she’s also been using her pocket money to donate to a hedgehog charity and to purchase items to help the homeless.
We just want Sophie to achieve whatever she wants in life because she truly deserves it, she’s such a caring, positive person who despite what she’s been through keeps smiling and thinking of others.
In response to Sophie’s efforts Alison McKenzie, Nurse Specialist form the Burns Outreach team said:
“When a child or young person has a burn it can leave a scar both physically and emotionally which affects the whole family. A scar can act as a reminder of the injury as well as give a different body image.
“We are so thankful to Sophie for her fantastic efforts, she has such wonderful young lady and its heartwarming to see she is now fundraising to help other children affected by burns. Her donation to Ward 11 and our Grafters Club will help us support children and their families to adapt and cope with their situation so they can return to their daily activities. Our Grafters club provides members with the opportunity to meet others, who have been through a similar experience to share stories, learn from each other, make friends, and build confidence.
“The club relies on donations and fundraising to meet the running costs and we would like to say a very special thank you to Sophie for all her help and support in raising awareness.”
“I’ve always wanted to enter a beauty pageant but never got around to it, but I think this is a great opportunity to show that it’s important to love the skin you’re in.
“Some days are definitely harder than others, but I wanted something positive to come from my burns and was so pleased I could support two funds which means so much to me and have such a personal reason for why I’ve chosen to support them. “
I’m so grateful to the staff who took care of me, I loved all of the nurses they were all so lovely, they helped me every step of the way, they showed me pictures of what to expect and were really helpful helping to answer any questions I had.
“I’m proud of how far I’ve come. Everyone’s got a scar of some kind and there are people much worse off than me, you’ve just got to keep going and learn to love the skin you’re in.
You can support Sophie’s fundraising by visiting her JustGiving page: