Kilee Brookbank almost died from a house fire nearly two years ago. After a long and painful recovery process, the Georgetown, Ohio, teen has not only bounced back, but was also crowned prom queen at her high school earlier this month.
In 2014, 16-year-old Kilee arrived home alone from school and noticed a “sewage-like odor” permeating her house, according to WCPO News, which was actually a gas leak. To get rid of the smell, Kilee lit a candle, which set off the explosion. She suffered burns on 45 percent of her body, including on her arms and back. The soccer player and honor student spent 38 days in the hospital where she endured multiple skin-graft surgeries.
“I felt lucky,” Kilee told Inside Edition. “I could have been hurt a lot worse. Both of my arms are complete skin grafts.”
Kilee’s senior photo. (Photo: Instagram)
When deciding on her prom dress, though, Kilee refused to hide her scars, opting for a beautiful sleeveless dress with a mesh back. “I never really thought I’d want to be in a dress again,” said Kilee, who recently co-authored an inspirational book, Beautiful Scars, about her experience. “I just didn’t think I’d be comfortable in my own body.”
After getting her hair and makeup professionally done, and putting on her dress, Kilee looked in the mirror and said, “I feel good about myself.”