Like many of us, Dana Vulin is really close with her family; she even has a twin brother. A resident of Perth, Australia, Dana attended college, earning a degree in Communications. A few years after finishing school, she had a very unfortunate encounter at a party.
Actually, Vulin had no way of knowing at the time that anything had gone wrong. She had apparently socialized with various people, among them a man who was estranged from his wife. To say that his wife was very angry that her husband had spoken to Dana would be a gross understatement.
For weeks, the wife harassed Dana, who was not involved with the man, leaving her threating messages and calling her horrible names. Finally, one night in 2012, the bitter woman and an accomplice entered Dana’s house, threw alcohol on her, and lit her on fire.
Dana was left with devastating third-degree burns on over two-thirds of her body. At the time of the incident, she dropped to the floor and rolled around to try and put the fire out, but it seemed to spread instead. She eventually put much of the fire out herself with water, struggling and screaming for help as her dog whimpered.
So instead of spending her twenties settling into a rewarding career, enjoying evenings out with friends, and experiencing the independence and excitement that comes with this phase in life, Dana had a long and painful road ahead of her. She had to wear a compression mask for more than two years to try and salvage her face and body.
Dana endured more than 200 surgeries and intense therapy, all in the hopes that she may one day have her life back. And when she finally unveiled the results of all of her and her doctor’s groundbreaking efforts, it seemed like that was exactly what would happen.
Dana not only revealed her remarkable results, but the fact that she had been diagnosed with cervical cancer less than two years after the fire that disfigured her. But again, Dana continued to beat all of the odds and move steadily forward. Following surgery, she was declared cancer-free.
In the end, Dana has said that she feels like she’s “won the Olympics” and is a true testament to “what modern medicine can do.” She’s even recently penned a memoir about the entire ordeal called Worth Fighting For.
Natalie Dimitrovska, the attacker, is serving 17 years in prison. While Dana agrees that Natalie should serve a long sentence, she says that she doesn’t hate the woman she heard laughing as she burned. Today, Dana spends her time as an advocate of many charitable organizations.