Terri Calvesbert was just 22 months old when she suffered terrible burns to her face and hands after a burning cigarette left by her mother caught fire in her room.
When firefighters found Terri laying in her cot they initially mistook her for a black plastic doll. Terri’s nose, hair, fingers and ears were consumed by the flames at the Ipswich flat.
Terri, now 15, is one of a few people in the world to survive extensive burns that required more than 40 skin grafts.
She lives with her father and stepmother, after the accident left her estranged from her mother for ten years.
Terri’s mum Julie Minter, 35, has recently spoken of the terrible guilt she feels and of how Terri has never blamed her for what happened.
Julie told The Sun: “No one can make me feel worse than I already do. I regret it and relive it every second of my life. She suffered all this, all because of me.”
“She could so easily hate me and never want to see me again. She texted me the other night saying that I have got nothing to feel sorry about, that it wasn’t my fault and I’ll always be her mum.
“I don’t feel like I deserve her. She’s amazing and I take my strength from her,” she added.
Julie had separated from Terri's dad, factory worker Paul Calvesbert, just two months before the fire, but they were still living together.
She explained: “I’d moved out of the flat but had missed Terri so much I’d moved back in and Paul and I were living as friends.”
Then, on the evening of November 21, 1998, while Paul, 38, was out at work, Julie was having trouble getting Terri asleep.
She lit up a cigarette - something she never normally did inside the flat - and accidentally left it in Terri's room.
Later, hearing Terri's frantic cries, Julie realised something was wrong and rushed to her daughter's room to find it on fire and filled with smoke.
Firefighters put out the blaze and Terri was rushed to Chelmsford Hospital where she began her long battle for survival.
In the Channel 5 documentary, ‘The Girl With 90% Burns’, firefighter Simon Bevan recalls finding Terri.
He says: “I have never seen anybody with extreme burns to that degree.
“She was so badly burnt I could not extend her neck to resuscitate her and her body was totally rock hard. No one was expecting Terri to survive.”
Terri spent six months in hospital before going to live with dad Paul and stepmum Nikki. Her dad gave up his job to look after her.
Over the years Terri has endured countless operations and thanks to the pioneering work of Professor Peter Dziewulski at St Andrews Burns Centre in Chelmsford, Essex, she is able to live a relatively normal teenage life.
Terri had no contact with her mum up until the pair had an emotional reunion four years ago and since then there has been intermittent contact.
In the documentary, Terri admits she can forgive her mum for the fire, but finds it hard to forget that she saw so little of her when she was a young child.
Terri says: “Sometimes I do look back and think that she shouldn’t have been smoking in the house anyway.
“It’s not really her fault though. It’s no one’s fault.”
Julie says that her daughter’s remarkable strength has made her realise that she now needs to lay her demons to rest.
She explains: “Until now, it’s been easier to pretend that I haven’t got a child, as people might judge me, but I refuse to live like this anymore.