In July 2003, Choi Ryu Na and her mother were severely injured by gas explosion at their home. Her mother didn’t survive the incident. She survived but suffered from a third-degree burn. At the age of 11, she lost hope and hid from the world.
Unable to look at her own face, she underwent more than 40 complicated surgeries. She was not able to attend school and had to graduate high school by taking the qualification exam.
With the help of a teacher in The Tianjin International School, she was accepted into Ehwa Woman’s University and fulfilled her dreams of attending college, thanks to professor Lee Ji Sun of Handong University. Professor Lee, too, suffered from a full body burn from a car accident and encouraged her to love herself and never give up.
Eventually, she was able to accept herself and successfully complete her education in the university.
On her graduation, she revealed that it was indeed a special moment for her because her mother’s name was also Ewha.
“Whenever I’m having a hard time, I call out the school’s name and that makes it feel like my mom’s next to me,” she said in an interview.
“There are many people who are going through hard times but please remember there are people out there cheering on for you.“
May the story of Choi be an inspiration to us that we need to learn to love and accept ourselves, stand up after we fall because someone is rooting for you and excited for your success.
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