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Woman whose face burnt off in horror blaze feared boyfriend would leave her

A university graduate whose face was burnt off in a horrific blaze feared her boyfriend would leave her once he saw her scars.

Sólrún Waldorff, 24, had been staying in her boyfriend's flat in October 2019 when the building caught fire due to a cooking accident.

The couple were trapped in Rahmon Anvarov's basement bedroom while firefighters battled through the blaze to rescue them.

Sólrún was flown to Sweden for treatment to the burns on her face and was left in a coma for a month, finally returning home two months later where she reunited with her boyfriend, who had insisted on not seeing any pictures of her while she was in surgery.

The 24-year-old, from Reykjavik, Iceland, was terrified her 30-year-old partner would leave her upon seeing her scars in person, but but he 'totally proved her wrong' and loyally supported her painful recovery.

As the fire raged around them, Rahmon tried breaking the bedroom window with an office chair, but the pair soon passed out from the smoke.

Firefighters dragged the unconscious Rahmon out of the building – later discovering Sólrún "by chance" after they had brought the blaze under control.

"I woke up a month later in Sweden," Sólrún recalled. "It was very scary. I had tubes down my throat, I was very disoriented and I was on all kinds of drugs. I was in a lot of pain."

Sólrún's muscles deteriorated over the month she spent in hospital, leaving her unable to move while she underwent skin grafts and had the "slime" removed from her lungs.

Rahmon, who was burnt on his arms, chest and back, received treatment back home in Iceland, insisting he didn't want to see pictures of Sólrún until he could reunite with her in person.

Sólrún said: "Not only did I look nothing like I did before, I also had limited capabilities and needed help with everything. I was worried he wouldn't want to be with me anymore. When I got back to Iceland, he was nothing but wonderful and understanding."

She connected with other burn survivors, hearing stories from victims whose partners had left them after seeing their scars, and still worried for the future of her relationship.

"We've spoken a lot about it, and he's been really reassuring about it," she said. "I thought the accident would either break us or make us a stronger couple. It's definitely made us a stronger couple."

Sólrún's day-to-day life has been made difficult by her injuries, which cause her to contract bronchitis and pneumonia "a lot".

She said: "I have little energy. If I go to the supermarket one day, then there's not much else I can do that day.

"I've been told my lungs won't get any better. My doctor told me that if I keep getting infections, pneumonia, etc, there's a good chance that my lungs will deteriorate further in the future."

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Sólrún has also had difficulty going out in public due to people's reactions, and said cruel teenagers had laughed at her in a mall at Christmas.

"I wasn't quite equipped with how to deal with it. I went home and shut myself off for a week because I felt very rejected.

"I've developed a thicker skin and my confidence has grown. It's an ongoing battle though."

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