She’s strong, fit and looking forward to having children with Mr Right.
If Dana Vulin had been allowed to see out her 20s as planned, she would be married with a child by now.
Instead, she’s 31, single, unemployed and still recovering from burns to nearly 65 per cent of her body following a horrifying attack in 2012. But she’s happy.
‘I hoped, but never thought it would be possible to look this much like the old Dana again,’ she says proudly, joking that her face once had more craters than the moon.
‘I love the me I am now far better than the me I once was.’
On February 16, five years ago, as the Perth freelance business manager lay dozing on her couch in the early hours of the morning, a man and a woman broke into her Rivervale apartment.
Within seconds, the woman, Natalia Dimitrovska, started falsely accusing the stunning blonde of sleeping with her estranged husband, before setting her on fire and running off.
It would change the course of Dana’s life forever. But instead of carrying the tragedy like an anchor, the plucky survivor has used it to become the strongest version of herself.
‘I find I’m more resilient and adaptive to my surroundings and situations now,’ she says. ‘I’m the same Dana I always was, but my life is 200 per cent different – and so is my outlook.
I appreciate life more and don’t sweat the small stuff. I feel I’m more accepting and resourceful.’
On February 16 each year, Dana surrounds herself with the love of family and friends and celebrates the fact she’s alive.
‘I don’t give a moment’s attention to what happened to me, or who did it,’ Dana says with a defiant smile. ‘We choose to look on it with positivity, celebrating how many years of extra life I’ve had [especially because death was so near].’
For the full story, see this week’s New Idea – Out now.
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