One look and you can imagine what Keith Edmonds has been through in his life. His face scarred with the injuries he endured when he was just a little over 1-year-old tells a tale of a horrifying childhood that no person in the world, let alone a parent wants to hear and go through. And the person who hurt the toddler was someone who was trusted and welcomed into his house – his mother’s boyfriend.
18 November, 1978 was a regular day and the 14-months Keith Edmonds was lying in his crib. But things soon turned ghastly when his mother’s boyfriend, angered by the toddler’s cries, picked Edmond up from his crib and held his face to an electric heater, scorching half of the baby’s face with 3rd-degree burns. Though his abuser had to serve ten years in prison, Keith was left with scars he had to live with for the rest of his life.
Not knowing whether he would be able to survive, little Keith spent a month in the hospital and even after his medical condition got normal, he had to undergo burn treatment until he was 18 years of age. Though his wounds were healing, his scarred face and disturbed childhood had set Keith Edmonds on a path of substance abuse.
It wasn’t until he had hit rock bottom at the age of 35 that he decided that it was time to turn his life around and help others avoid the path he had chosen for himself once. So, in order to help other victims of child abuse, he started his own non-profit, Keith Edmonds Foundation, which helps abused children through public speaking and other programs.
For more than past five years, this child abuse survivor has been sharing his story with others through public speeches and doing his best to help empower children who have been through something similar in their lives. Besides, his foundation also works with children in foster care and provides them age and gender specific backpacks, filled with essential items, such as a nightlight, book, toy, blanket and more.
Apart from that, there is also summer day 'Camp Confidence' which is aimed to foster kids, be kids and not victims and develop a sense of worth in them. When asked about his scars, Edmonds says, “There are people who wear their scars all on the inside and you pass them every day, I just happen to wear my scars on the inside and the outside.” He says what helped him overcome his circumstances is forgiveness, not just for himself, but for his abuser as well. It was what helped him turn himself from being a child abuse victim to a child abuse survivor.
Today, Keith wears his scars on his face with pride. Though he has been offered a complete reconstructive surgery that would take care of all his scars, he has refused it saying that the scars are a part of him now.
Want to know more about what happened to Keith Edmonds and what exactly helped him return to the right path in life? Check out the video below
Keith Edmonds’ inspiring story compels us to live a meaningful life no matter what circumstances we have been put in. If he could turn his life of a drunk at 35 years into that of somebody who is helping society, why can’t anyone else?
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(Image Courtesy: 1. People) (Video Courtesy: Kedmondsjourney/YouTube)