“He walked up to me and asked “Do you know who I am?” Tears instantly fell as we hugged. It was like something from a movie.”
In 1993 on the day before Thanksgiving, officer Harry Belcher responded to a fire in Wentzville, MO. When they realized there was a 4-year-old girl still trapped inside the house, they entered through the window and was able to rescue her.
While in the hospital, the doctors told Kanisha Anthony’s family she would be in a vegetative state because her head-to-toe third degree burns were too severe. Miraculously, she pulled through. Anthony had to endure a series of major surgeries and skin grafting procedures until she was 17. In addition to the pain and trauma caused by the burns, the disheartened survivor was also informed she would never be able to bear children.
Growing up, Anthony was treated differently as the “burned girl” with bullies pulling off her wig to play tag and constantly dealt with gawkers because of her very visible scars. As a young adult, Anthony often pretended to be like everyone else to fit in.
“I grew up feeling different from the rest of the world. I looked different. I never felt good enough. I did things I didn’t like to do just so I could feel like I belonged. I thought it would get easier as an adult but it didn’t. I thought I will never find love or get married.”
Today, the married mom of three is an inspiring author sharing stories of her struggles and how she turned self-loathing to empowerment and strength as a self-love trailblazer.
Besides empowering girls and women to accept who they are and find courage in hardship, Anthony always dreamed of meeting the officer who saved her life.
“When the officer pulled me from the fire, my heart was no longer beating according to those around. He refused to give up and continued giving me CPR even after he thought I was completely gone.”
When officer Harry Belcher, now retired after serving 30 years, walked up to Anthony at her book launch, they instantly recognized each other.
“When I walked into the community center where her book signing took place and saw her for the first time as an adult, it brought tears to my eyes. I was so excited to see that she has managed to overcome what I knew were many obstacles.”
After their heartfelt reunion, Anthony shared her story briefly with guests and signed books, including a special one for her hero.
“As soon as I got home that day I sat and read her book. When I read about everything she went through, which was 1,000 times worse than I thought it would have been, I cried. If you read SCARLESS and don’t have a tear in your eye, you’re just not human.”
Anthony’s book is dedicated to officers Harry Belcher and Keith Cummins. Officer Cummins was the second officer arriving at the scene alongside Belcher. Both officers received the Distinguished Service Award and the Blue Breast Bar for their bravery and selfless acts on that tragic day where Anthony lost her two brothers. She is still hoping to locate Officer Cummins to express her gratitude personally.
You can read her incredible story of strength and courage on paperback or kindle.
Scarless is a true story of a young girl who has been through hell and back. It will make you sad. It will anger you. But most importantly, it will inspire you to forgive others and love yourself.
@YvonLux is a serial entrepreneur and a published lifestyle and beauty blogger who owns and designs for her custom-clothing line, Yvon Lux. She also manages, writes, and acts as editor for her empowering Apple News channel with the same name. Connect with her on Instagram!