I went through a freak fire-breathing accident but I want my story to inspire others!

This beauty influencer suffered a terrible accident during a fire-breathing accident but now wants her story to help others.
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Sophie Lee, a beauty influencer from Darwen, was left with severe, life changing burns after a fire-breathing accident but now wants to use her platform to spread positivity.

Originally a dancer and performer, Sophie has been into performing arts since the age of four and always knew she wanted that to be her career.

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The now 28-year-old used to attend a dance school in Blackburn calling it her ‘happy place’ as she felt like she belonged there as she could escape the racial bullying she experienced in her life.

The move into a fire-breathing career when Sophie realised that the performing industry is highly competitive and that she had to do more specialist acts to stand out.

So for five years, she commanded stages across the world and wowed with her incredible talent for manipulating flames.

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Yet on April 1, 2018, during a performance in Chicago, Sophie blew the fire out, the venue’s air conditioning fought against the flames, and blew it back into her face.

She said: “When the accident happened I couldn’t even process it, everything happened so fast and the next thing you know I was in intensive care.

For five years, Sophie worked as a fire-breather.For five years, Sophie worked as a fire-breather.
For five years, Sophie worked as a fire-breather.

“Even now I feel like parts of my mind erased it, because it's a part of my life that was so fast and drastic. I think sometimes when things like that happen to you in life, you go numb to it.”

After the accident, Sophie spent a month in hospital receiving treatment for the burns - and at first refused to let her friends and family see her.

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After a time in intensive care, hooked up to machines to help her breathe, Sophie drifted in and out of consciousness as her body tried to adjust to the shock.

She said: “Being in hospital, I was really down in the dumps and in a dark place which was more of a mental battle rather than the physical side of the scars.

“At that point I couldn’t breath, eat, or sleep. I was merely just existing and the scar turned into a facial deformity of sorts with the tumour growing to a massive size on my face.”

Yet Sophie’s story began to gain traction and she garnered a wealth of support online as people followed her to keep up to date with her journey.

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This level of support helped her to change her outlook on the situation and to look forward rather than grieve about her past life.

Sophie in hospital recovering from her accident.Sophie in hospital recovering from her accident.
Sophie in hospital recovering from her accident.

She said: “I didn’t share my story for any validation of anyone else and I think that’s why I’m so grateful for everything that has happened.

“I think the support that I have received has felt that much better because I wasn’t searching for it and instead I did it naturally, sharing my story with full transparency.

Since leaving hospital, Sophie has become a successful beauty influencer even winning the Beauty Awards Influencer of the Year 2023.

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She has also modelled for countless campaigns and fashion companies over the past few years.

“Life since the accident is definitely something I didn’t expect because I just see myself as someone who went through something and thought my story could help others.

“When I won the Beauty Awards Influencer of the Year last year, I just couldn’t believe it as the aim was never to get awards or receive that type of attention.

“With the award and the platform I have now, I feel like I have not only a responsibility to others but a responsibility to myself to be a better person everyday and to always be evolving.

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On the back of her success, Sophie was approached by Katie Piper to be apart of The UnSeen which is a publishing collection that sheds light on the untold stories of hope that deserve to be heard.

“I was approached by Katie when I was in hospital and she just reached out as a friend asking if I was alright and to hang in there because everything is going to be okay.

“We stayed in touch after I left the hospital and she reached out with the idea of her UnSeen collection how she’d love for me to be in it.

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Sophie’s book called ‘In My Skin’ is due to be published on April 18 and you can preorder a copy here.

Speaking on what she hopes people take from her story, Sophie said: “If people were to take a message from my story I’d say that beauty is always skin deep and your life is perfect just as it is.

“You just need to be yourself and accepting of life’s roller coaster so love your perfectly imperfect life.” 

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