MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Karen Hunter-Jackson is a survivor.
“I have a new awareness of life and appreciation for life,” she said.
In August 2017, Hunter-Jackson was pulling into her home when an out of control motorcyclist crashed into them and the gas tank exploded, creating a fireball.
“We had one way out and that was through the gas and the fire, I had on shorts so whatever wasn’t covered was engulfed in flames,” she said.
Hunter-Jackson suffered burns over 25 percent of her body. Today, after two years of excruciating skin grafts, rehab, and now laser treatment, she said she’s learned about never taking life for granted.
“I always think about if this was my last 5 minutes because that could have been my last five minutes, I love more, I try to do acts of kindness more and life is actually fuller now than prior to the accident,” she said.
Josue Moreno lost his arms and right leg in 2012, While working on his roof in Honduras using a metal pole, he accidentally touched an electric power line. He spent a month in a coma, but he’s also now on the other side of a traumatic experience.
“The first two years were super tough, dealing with depression and everything, but then I started feeling much better,” he said.
Moreno is now a para-athlete.
Both survivors spoke Wednesday at one of the premier burn units in the country, the Miami Burn Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital, in honor of Burn Awareness Week.
According to the American Burn Association, more than 450,000 serious burn injuries occur every year. Doctors say survivors prove there are healing and hope after a serious burn, but the best treatment is prevention which is why they hope people will take the time to learn about dangers we encounter especially in our homes and how not to get burned.