Basma Hameed: A Pioneer in the Burn World
When Basma was just two-years-old, her eight-year-old brother wanted to surprise their parents by making them dinner on a pan with hot oil. His sweet and caring gesture quickly turned into a nightmare for his younger sister. He put frozen meat into the oil filled pan and it quickly caught fire. As the young boy ran to the sink, he tripped and spilled the inflamed oil onto baby Basma. 40% of the two year old’s face became covered in third-degree burns. She lost her hair, one of her eyebrows and had to have one of her eyes glued shut.
The next 15 years of her life consisted of multiple surgeries to treat her burns and reconstruct the damage on her face. When she was 16-years-old she had completed over 100 surgeries. At this point, she was told that there was nothing left that doctors could do for her.
“The moment that I heard those words, I told myself that I can’t give up. I have to do whatever it takes to improve it for myself.”
And that’s exactly what she did.
She soon discovered face tattooing to create an inked eyebrow where hers had been burned off. She instantly noticed an improvement in her appearance and confidence.
“I thought well, why not use pigment that matches the rest of the skin and tattoo that pigment into scar tissues?”
She asked various professionals to perform this procedure but none wanted to take the risk. This is when Basma really took matters into her own hands. Basma took the steps to become certified to perform the tattoo procedure on her face.
When she saw the results, she commented that she was filled with so much hope and excitement.
“Anybody that has a scar or skin discoloration needs to know that this procedure exists because it has changed my life!” Basma remarks.
It is very difficult to tattoo a burn patient as it would mean working on scar tissue that won’t necessarily pick up colors the way regular skin does. But this didn’t stop Basma. She perfected her one-of-a-kind technique and today she owns a skin clinic where she performs the procedure on burn patients around the world. She has since been referred to as the “tattoo-fairy” for scar victims.
It seems easy for people like Basma who face such life-altering difficulties to sink into a world of helplessness and negativity. However, Basma is anything but “helpless.” When doctors told her there was nothing left for her to do, she took charge of her seemingly impossible situation by never giving up until she found a solution. Not only did she help herself, but she created an avenue to help burn patients all around the world