Mum’s warning – My son was scarred for life

'I heard a blood-curdling scream'

A Sydney mum has shared the horrifying story of how a how drink scarred her little boy for life.


Donna Truscott, 37, was in the kitchen with her son Braxton, then 22 months, and his dad Brendan, when the split-second accident happened.

She told that’s life! ‘I’d been in bed all day with food poisoning, so I was glad to be up. Suddenly, I heard glass smashing followed by blood-curdling scream. I span around and heard Brendan shout that his cup of green tea had gone all over Braxton.’


The toddler had somehow managed to reach up to kitchen counter in the instant Donna’s back was turned.

Donna and Braxton

‘Brendan scooped him up and raced to the bathroom. But as he took off his T-shirt, Braxton’s skin peeled off too,’ Donna said. ‘We frantically put him under a cool shower, and called Triple-0.’


The operator told her to keep Braxton under a tepid shower for 20 minutes.


Donna added: ‘Poor Braxton sobbed as the water touched his red face and raw chest. Tea had also splashed his face and hand. ‘It’s my fault,’ Brendan kept saying. But it was just a horrible accident.’


Paramedics arrived and applied a teatree oil treatment before wrapping Braxton in medical foil.


Arriving at Westmead Children’s Hospital, Braxton was rushed in for treatment. The regular dressing changes were painful, so Braxton was given painkillers to keep him drowsy.


Braxton at Westmead

‘The first time I saw his chest with the bandages removed, I burst into tears,’ Donna said. ‘Although his face was healing well, his chest had black patches of dead tissue.’


After 11 days, skin from Braxton’s thigh was taken to cover the damaged skin on his chest.


Slowly but surely, he started to heal. For six months he had to wear a compression suit.

Donna said that although her son was healing physically, he’d wake up screaming in the night.

Braxton today

Now, 18 months on, Braxton has caught up with his milestones and is a happy little boy. However, he’s been left with a butterfly shaped scar on his chest.


Donna said she wanted to share her story to warn other families after a doctor told her hot drink burns were some of the most common cases he saw.


She said: ‘I never imagined my boy would be scarred for life by a simple cup of tea.’

Treating burns

■ Remove jewellery and clothes immediately. If clothing is stuck to the burn, do not remove it.

■ Don’t use ice, iced water, creams or lotions as these could make the burn worse.

■ Cool the area under running water, at tepid temperature, for 20 minutes.

■ Get medical advice if the burn blister is larger than a 20 cent coin, or is on the face or neck. If concerned, always seek medical help.

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