Sólrún Waldorff was staying at her boyfriend’s apartment in October 2019 when a cooking accident caused a fire to spread throughout the property, trapping the couple in a basement bedroom
A college graduate whose face was burned in a terrible fire feared her boyfriend would abandon her as soon as he saw her scars.
Sólrún Waldorff, 24, was staying at her boyfriend’s apartment in October 2019 when the building caught fire due to a cooking accident.
The pair were trapped in Rahmon Anvarov’s basement bedroom while firefighters fought through the blaze to rescue them.
Sólrún was flown to Sweden for treatment for the burns on her face and was in a coma for a month. She finally returned home two months later, where she was reunited with her boyfriend, who had insisted on not seeing any pictures of her during her surgery.
The 24-year-old from Reykjavik, Iceland, was afraid her partner of 30 would leave her after seeing her scars in person, but he “completely proved her wrong” and loyally supported her painful recovery.
As the fire raged around them, Rahmon attempted to smash the bedroom window with an office chair, but the couple soon passed out from the smoke.
Firefighters dragged the unconscious Rahmon out of the building – they later discovered Sólrún “accidentally” after bringing the fire under control.
“I woke up in Sweden a month later,” Sólrún recalled. “It was very scary. I had tubes in my throat, was very disoriented and was doing all sorts of drugs. I was in a lot of pain.”
Sólrún’s muscles deteriorated over the month she was in the hospital, leaving her unable to move while she underwent skin grafts and the “mucus” removed from her lungs.
Rahmon, who was burned on his arms, chest and back, was being treated at home in Iceland and insisted he didn’t want to see any pictures of Sólrún until he could see her again in person.
Sólrún said: “Not only did I look different than before, I also had limited abilities and needed help with everything. I was worried that he didn’t want to be with me anymore. When I came back to Iceland he was nothing but wonderful and understanding.”
She socialized with other burn survivors, heard stories from victims whose partners abandoned her after seeing their scars, and still worried about the future of their relationship.
“We talked about it a lot and it was really comforting,” she said. “I figured the accident would either break us up or make us a stronger couple. It definitely made us a stronger couple.”
Sólrún’s everyday life is complicated by her injuries, which cause her to “frequently” contract bronchitis and pneumonia.
She said: “I’m low on energy. If one day I go to the supermarket, there isn’t much more I can do that day.
“I’ve been told my lungs aren’t going to get better. My doctor told me that if I keep getting infections, pneumonia, etc. there is a good chance my lungs will continue to deteriorate in the future.”
To keep up to date with all the latest news, be sure to subscribe to one of our newsletters
Sólrún also had difficulty going out in public due to people’s reactions, saying cruel teenagers laughed at her in a mall at Christmas.
“I wasn’t quite equipped to deal with it. I went home and locked myself away for a week because I felt very rejected.
“I’ve developed thicker skin and my confidence has grown. However, it is an ongoing struggle.”