A GIRL who suffered third degree burns and lost seven fingers when lice shampoo set fire to her head is raising funds for cosmetic surgery to help change her life.
Aleema Ali, 16, suffered burns to 55 per cent of her body in the incident when she was just 12 after using medicated head lice shampoo, which caught fire and engulfed her entire head in flames when she applied it.
She suffered burns to her face, stomach, hands, chest, back, thighs, arms and neck in the incident in December 2016, when she returned home from boarding school to discover she had caught head lice, and applied the shampoo.
She has since had to undergo hundreds of operations in hospitals across the country, including in Birmingham and Sheffield, to help her on the road to recovery.
Now she has set up a GoFundMe online fundraising page to raise £12,000 to help pay for further surgery in America on her nose and lips.
She wants to arrange surgery with Dr Paul Nassif, based in Beverley Hills, California, who stars in the TV show Botched, but needs to raise funds to pay for the trip.
Aleema, who lives in Manningham, said: "I felt terrified because I thought I was going to die and was afraid for what would happen.
"In December 2016, I had caught head lice and I asked my mum to take them out for me that same night, she put the medication onto my hair and then went to the kitchen to make food.
"I went in the kitchen to get to the bin and whilst I was walking past, my hair caught fire as the medicine was extremely flammable.
"When I was on flames I just thought I was going to die. I have had hundreds of operations.
"I have lost seven fingers and have three left - two of which are fully functioning.
"I have 55 per cent burns which are included on my face, stomach, hands, chest, back, thighs, arms and neck.
"I have had operations at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, Sheffield Children’s Hospital, Leeds General Hospital and Pinderfields Hospital.
"My recovery has been difficult but worth it.
"My recovery was extremely difficult, but my immediate family were very supportive.
One of my biggest insecurities is my nose. I hate it. I get called a pig all of the time
"There is a doctor in America, an amazing facial surgeon. I physically can't afford it.
"I hope to raise money on my GoFundMe page so I am able to travel to America for surgery to my nose.
"If you can donate it would mean the world to me. It would change my life."
Aleema still has to go through a string of daily treatments, but says these have reduced over recent times.
She added: "Over the last few years I have had to do many treatments daily, but they have decreased tremendously.
"All I do now is moisturise my skin and massage my scars if I feel as though they are tightening."
She attends Dixon’s Sixth Form Academy in Bradford where she is studying psychology, sociology and health and social care. She hopes to study either criminal law or criminal psychology in the future.
Meanwhile, Aleema has become a star on TikTok, the video streaming service, which has become popular since the start of the pandemic.
She says she feels 'overwhelmed' by the response to her online videos. She has 252,000 followers on TikTok, @aleemaxali, receiving 3.9 million likes. She is also on Instagram; @aleemaxali
She added: "I usually do make-up tutorials and transitions on TikTok. The views are extremely surprising and I feel overwhelmed to have received so much love."
Go to gofundme.com/f/8vyprt-aleemas-surgery to donate.
Meanwhile, the gov.uk website says head lice eradication products: risk of serious burns if treated hair is exposed to open flames or other sources of ignition, such as cigarettes.
Pharmacists should tell people about the risk of fire when they discuss head lice eradication options.
It says some products for the eradication of head lice infestations are combustible/flammable when on the hair and can ignite and cause serious harm in the presence of an open flame or other source of ignition such as when lighting cigarettes
Parents and caregivers and the person with head lice are also advised to read the instructions that come with treatments to ensure that they are used safely and correctly.