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96% Burns survivor Catrin Pugh is changing the face of beauty

  • Catrin Pugh was 19 years old when her coach crashed and burst into flames while she was on holiday in the French Alps
  • She was left with 96% burns which ravaged every part of her body minus her scalp and soles of her feet
  • Now Catrin is an ambassador for the Katie Piper Foundation and Changing Faces, working to improve equality for those with visible differences in the beauty and media industries
There was hope for my future. That it wasn’t just going to be a case of surviving an accident, but it was that I could come out of the other side and have a fulfilling and happy life.

In 2013, our client Catrin Pugh was on holiday in France when the coach she was travelling on crashed and caught fire. She miraculously survived, despite suffering burns to 96% of her body. Six years on, Catrin is now a model and campaigner. She works with a range of charities such as the Katie Piper Foundation and Changing Faces to fight for greater diversity in the beauty, fashion and media industries and ensure those with visible differences are treated equally.

Here Catrin describes what happened to her and how the support of family and friends helped her to be strong and overcome trauma.


I realised that I didn’t just have to be a burns survivor forever. I could be an academic, I could be a young woman studying things and making a better life for myself.

From the day that Catrin decided to pursue legal action, we’ve helped her to access rehabilitation to enable her to regain her independence following such traumatic injuries. She received early access to interim payments, meaning she was given the additional help and support of expert hand therapists and occupational therapy equipment. Along with her own sheer determination and strength, this has helped Catrin to reach her optimum level of function and regain her quality of life to continue to smash expectations and use her experience to raise awareness and support for other burns survivors.


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