Chemical burn victim speaks at gala
Published Thursday, November 29, 2012 8:57AM EST
A chemical burn victim is extremely grateful that people she has never met are willing to help her.
Tanya St-Arnauld suffered third-degree burns to her head, face and chest in August after an argument with her boyfriend.
He's now in jail awaiting trial for assault, while she has spent months in hospital and rehabilation
The scars on St-Arnauld's face will never fade, and most of her hair is gone, but she is determined not to let that stop her from living.
On Wednesday evening she strode onto stage for a benefit gala held in her honour and thanked the crowd and performers.
"Everybody is telling me you look so pretty, you look so nice. It's nice because you don't always feel like that," said St-Arnauld. "They put on the makeup, they put on the wig. They said go have a nice time at your show."
The comedy show raised almost $10,000 for St-Arnauld, money that will go toward physical therapy, makeup to cover the scars, and wigs.
St-Arnauld said she is improving every day, but knows she has much more work to do since the burns caused severe nerve and muscle damage to her right arm.
"My arm doesn't hold any more," said St-Arnauld. "I'm a right handed person. "Everything I have to learn with my left hand now."
Nicholas Stefanatos, 27, has been behind bars since the night of the attack. He is charged with three counts of assault after allegedly throwing a bucket of concrete cleaning fluid over St-Arnauld.
She suffered third-degree burns to her head and chest, and lesser burns to 70 percent of her body.
St-Arnauld said after her ordeal, she now wants to help others.
"Know what you're living through, life is worth so much. No matter what you're going through you don't want to die."