Meet 18-year-old Johnny Quinn, a self-proclaimed “burn thriver.”
Quinn suffered burns to 95 percent of his body in an accidental fire started in his family’s shed. He was only 4 years old at the time.
It was Quinn’s older sister, Leah, who pulled him out of the shed and saved his life.
Leah suffered burns to 25 percent of her body, and both siblings grew up with teasing and bullying as a result of their scars.
As Quinn moved into older childhood, he really started to realize how different he looked than his peers. He began to hate the way he looked, and the self-loathing began to manifest into anorexia.
“Why did I even survive?” Quinn would ask himself. “Why didn’t I just die in the fire?”
“I kept all this turmoil inside of me for so long, it turned into anorexia,” Quinn said, according to Metro News.
“Where I didn’t even want to take care of my body anymore, where I just stopped eating.”
“I never realized how selfish I was acting, obviously I had a family that cared about me but I never realized it,” the teen said.
After struggling for years to love himself, Quinn began to practice what he calls the habit of self-confidence.
Self-confidence is not a personality trait, Quinn explained in his video, but rather an intentional habit you practice daily to improve. And Quinn found that as he becomes more confident with himself, he was able to make friends and really start to live his life.
Now 18, Quinn attends college and has a job with the Courageous Faces Foundation. He is on a mission to become a model, and inspire others to become comfortable in their own skin.
“A lot of people call them a burn victim and I was totally a burn victim too, somebody who let their situation have control over their life,” Quinn explained.
“When you’re a burn survivor, you’re just surviving, but I like to call myself a ‘burn thriver’ now because I’m actually thriving with my burns.”
Once ashamed of people’s stares and comments, Quinn now has a new perspective on his scars and has found the purpose behind his pain.
“I want to be the person who changes the people’s minds, that they can be comfortable in their own skin if I can be,” Quinn says.
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