Saundra was in a relationship with an addict. Together, the two of them had a son and daughter. Saundra and her husband lost their home because of his addictions, and Saundra covered up her pain by focusing on caring for her children.
On Saundra’s 28th birthday, she was out celebrating with her husband when she suddenly could not find him. After searching for him for hours, Saundra found her husband with another woman, and he became enraged. Saundra’s husband took her outside and started yelling and screaming at her, then started punching her. Saundra was left unconscious and alone, and developed a condition called necrotizing fasciitis from the blunt force trauma.
The rare, skin-eating bacteria made Saundra’s face swell, and then start rapidly decaying. After 28 surgeries and having half of her back cut off for skin grafts, Saundra was able to get the infection removed from her face.
However, that cost her all of the skin, muscle, and feeling on the right side of her face, along with part of Saundra’s neck. It took years before Saundra was comfortable enough with her body to live without a constant mask on her face. Saundra found Face Forward to aid with her reconstruction process and today is confident in herself and her appearance.
After going back to school and graduating, she started working and found an amazing job. She is also an advocate in raising awareness for Face Forward as a member of the Patient Advocacy Board and in the fight against domestic violence.