LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A senior at Christian Academy of Louisville decided to take her senior pictures at an unlikely place: Norton Children's Hospital.
While it might not be the typical locale, Kennedy Moore said the hospital played a huge roll in who she is today.
"I wanted to do this today because it's been almost six years since it happened and I wanted to come back to where it all began and where I had to grow as a person," she said.
That event was a trial by fire.
"About six years ago, I was at a pool party and I fell into a fire pit and I got third-degree burns and second-degree," she said. "I was taken right to Norton Children's."
She didn't just face physical challenges. There were emotional ones as well.
"You know, I struggled with that and I knew that I'd look different and whatnot," she said. "The nurses here, they would tell me, 'Nobody is going to look at you like that. You're still the same person you've always been. You're still Kennedy.'"
Terri Scheller, Kennedy's mom, said it was every parent's worst nightmare.
"When she got out of the ambulance on the stretcher, I just remember looking at her and seeing her face," Scheller said. "So I thought, 'I can see her face. So she's gonna be OK.'"
OK, but she still had a long and difficult road ahead.
"She had pretty significant burns to her back, right arm, leg," said David Foley, M.D., the trauma medical director at Norton Children's Hospital. "It's a war. It's not really a battle. So every day is a different thing. There were lots of ups and downs with her. Some good days. Some bad days."
And not all the wounds were physical. Scars bring their own challenges for a teenager.
"The actual medical aspect of it during the healing process is relatively straightforward," Foley said. "But the psychological aspect of it, I think, is incredibly difficult."
Moore remembers those days well.
"I went through a phase where I’d wear long sleeves — leggings — to cover everything, you know, because I just wanted to be seen as normal," she said. "I've definitely grown out of that and I wear what I want and I don't care if people see my scars. They're a part of me now, and I don't think it's anything I should be ashamed of — or anyone should be ashamed of, for that matter."
Scheller said she's witnessed her daughter's blossoming firsthand, moving from a victim to a survivor.
"I have seen a little girl over the last six years grow into a confident young woman," she said. "She doesn't have a fear anymore of her scars or what they look like. She's just herself. And like she says, it's just part of her story."
The choice of Norton Children's Hospital was perfect for Kennedy's senior pictures, according to Shawn Moore, her father.
"It clearly means so much to her and it's a nice time to just celebrate how far she's come and what that was like six years ago and where we are today," he said.
For Kennedy Moore, it was a coming home of sorts.
"I actually really haven’t walked back in this building since it happened," she said. "It's surreal but it feels good to be back here as a visitor and not a patient."
Her advice to others facing significant challenges?
"Keep going," she said. "Keep fighting. Don't give up. Stay focused on the path and you have to realize you will get out of this and it will get better."
Copyright 2022 WDRB Media. All Rights Reserved.