TEEN – SHEFaceless

Author – Alyssa Sheinmel

Age -13+

Maisie loves to run. She’s out running early one morning when it begins to rain. Thunder and lightning soon follow, and a lightning strike hits a tree close to where Maisie is standing. She sees sparks like fireworks, and embers bright against the rain. A hissing sound as power lines hit the road is the last thing she hears….

When Maisie wakes, it is in a hospital. She is lying flat on her back and can’t move. She can only see her parents if they lean right over her as they talk to her. They tell her she has been in a coma for a few weeks. She wants to know why. They slowly tell her about her injuries – her burnt left hand and side with 2nd degree burns, and her face. But her face didn’t just receive burns. When the electrical fire hit her, it consumed her nose, cheeks, and chin. They are no longer there.

Maisie is shocked at the loss of half her face, and even more shocked when she is told about face transplants. When she is told there is an opportunity to have such a transplant because a donor face has come available, her mum and dad are at odds about it. But her mum and dad have been fighting a lot lately. It’s only been since Maisie has been in hospital they seem together at all.

This is the first of many decisions and changes Maisie must make on her journey to find out who she is now and who she wants to be. It’s not just her face that has changed. Her relationships with her parents, her boyfriend and her friends all become tenuous. Maisie feels sorry for herself and only with help from a fellow burns sufferer, patience from her mother, and understanding from her boyfriend, does she finally accept what has happened and that there is life after her accident.

(Family, Love, Friendships, Burns, Coma, Identity)


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