In some ways Maryam is like many typical teenage girls — she likes to wear pretty dresses, jewellery and nail polish. But she often wears a scarf and long-sleeve shirts to hide the scars all over her body.
“I didn’t remember anything. I just remember being in a hospital and in shock,” she said.
In January 2015, Maryam — who doesn’t want her last name revealed because she worries about the safety of her parents in Syria — and her six-year-old sister, Diana, were sleeping in their bedroom when a bomb fell on their home in the city of Idlib.
Her sister died in the blast.
Maryam survived but she suffered burns to 80 per cent of her body. The blast also took out the fingernails on her left hand, and she has lost feeling in her thumb.
“The doctor came to take off my bandage and I cried, I just cried,” she said.
The burns were so severe that doctors couldn’t treat her in Syria, so she was sent to a hospital in Turkey, where she had 12 reconstructive plastic surgeries.