This Mom’s Husband Left After She Was Disfigured By A Campfire – But Her Comeback Was Extraordinary

Image: Facebook/Courtney’s Comeback / Facebook/Courtney’s Comeback
As Courtney Waldon collapsed to the floor, the searing white heat of pain was unbearable. The flash engulfed her face, while the gasoline on her skin swept the flames across her body. Just moments before, she and her husband had been enjoying a peaceful romantic evening in front of a campfire. Now she was in hell and her life would be changed forever.
Image: Facebook/Courtney’s Comeback
Medics only just managed to save the comprehensively burnt 27-year-old’s life following the horrific incident in September 2016, but it came at a heavy personal cost for Waldon. She lost her looks, her husband and her home. The woman from Tallapoosa, Georgia, has injuries so severe she will never work again. Some people would have given up, but Waldon vowed to find the strength to carry on – for the sake of her five-year-old daughter, Caroline.
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Image: Facebook/Courtney’s Comeback
Waldon knew she would have to face the considerable challenges of recovery, rehabilitation and taking care of a small child alone, when her husband of four months left her – just two weeks after she got home from hospital. Mitch Cobb departed – telling Waldon he “couldn’t handle her” – leaving Waldon homeless and jobless, with no idea how she would pay for mounting medical bills and a roof over her daughter’s head. Meanwhile, word of her plight got around, and the community of Tallapoosa began to rally round.
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Image: Facebook/Courtney’s Comeback
The day that Waldon’s life changed forever will always be vivid in her memory. The young woman had been preparing to cook dinner for her new husband and herself over the heat from their backyard firepit. However, the flames had seemed to flicker out. To remedy this, Cobb took a can of gasoline and swung it at the pit in an attempt to reignite the fire.
Image: YouTube/Barcroft TV
Bad move – as the gas flew out of the can some of it splashed on Waldon and just moments later the fire flared up, swallowing her. The highly flammable liquid blazed across her face, arms and body in milliseconds. She told People magazine, “Next thing I know I was in gold shivering flames.” Waldon recalled carrying out the stop-drop-and-roll maneuver in a desperate bid put herself out – to little effect.
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Image: YouTube/Barcroft TV
The gas-propelled fire had taken a firm hold, causing Waldon excruciating pain as life-changing injuries were inflicted. Screaming and clawing at the flames, she shouted for someone to call 911. Waldon has admitted that during the incident she believed she was experiencing her own death.
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Image: Courtney Waldon via PEOPLE
An ambulance raced up just minutes later and the seriously burnt Waldon was taken into the vehicle. As the stricken woman lay surrounded by medical equipment, she began to pray for her life – despite the overwhelming pain she was experiencing. Fortunately the accident had occurred just a few miles from a hospital and she was swiftly transported to its emergency room.
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Image: Courtney Waldon via PEOPLE
Medical staff later told Waldon that had the ambulance arrived even just one minute later, she would have been killed by the injuries caused by the inferno. As it was, she was critically injured. Waldon was immediately induced into a coma to mitigate shock, and remained in an unconscious state for a month. Meanwhile surgeons worked to save as much of her face and body as possible, using skin grafts and laser surgery to repair the damage as best they could.
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Image: Facebook/Courtney’s Comeback
The task was massive – 40 percent of Waldon’s head and body had been burnt. Her face suffered fourth-degree burns, while her arms and body were exposed to third-degree burns. Eventually, after 51 days in hospital, 40 of which were spent in the intensive care unit, Waldon was allowed to return home.
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Image: Facebook/Courtney’s Comeback
The mother-of-one confessed that the first time she looked at herself in the mirror she was almost physically sick. Caroline did not recognize her at first. Waldon told U.K. tabloid the Daily Mail, “They didn’t bring her to the hospital, so the first time I saw her was when I came home. She was very hesitant and very stand-offish. Then when she heard my voice, she came over and gave me a hug. She’s been amazing.”
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Image: Facebook/Courtney’s Comeback
Shortly after returning home, Waldon began work to become stronger and more independent. Originally unable to even hold her daughter due to the pain, the young mom is now able to swim and play with Caroline every day. She has undergone many grafts and laser surgeries and another 12 are expected to take place over the next two years.
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Image: Facebook/Courtney’s Comeback
Thoughts quickly turned to money. Jobless and without a home, Waldon and Caroline moved in with her parents. But her medical bills had now soared beyond $2 million, and this figure could only rise. Panic gripped the family as they struggled to envisage what kind of future mom and daughter could look forward to. But their community refused to let them be beaten.
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Image: Facebook/Courtney’s Comeback
Members of the local church in Tallapoosa began to build a house for them on Waldon’s parents’ land free of charge. Pastor Jon Ellis, 43, from Refuge Ministries of West Georgia, told the Daily Mail, “I believe that the home is going to not only give a peace of mind to but it’s one less thing to worry about… she can focus on her daughter and a full recovery.”
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Image: GoFundMe
A GoFundMe page was set up to raise money for the forever-home project in January 2017. In just six months, donations to cover the building costs and help support Waldon and Caroline rocketed to more than $324,000.
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Image: Facebook/Courtney’s Comeback
But now, with her relationship with her daughter stronger than ever and a home well on the way to being built by her generous community, it appears Waldon has found new love. She has begun dating a male friend from high school after they were reunited through the local church, and he got involved in the housing project.
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Image: Instagram/Courtney Waldon
Excited for the future, the pair shared a loving photo together on her Instagram account as her comeback takes another step forward. Memories of the pain caused by her husband’s abandonment are being put in the past, and in retrospect Waldon even claims the event made her stronger as a person.
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Image: Facebook/Courtney’s Comeback
However, Waldon did reveal to the Daily Mail that some members of the public still unnerve her. “I get stared at constantly like I am a monster. People just make rude comments. But it’s okay. I am stronger than they are. I get through it.” But not all of the public are that unthinking.
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Image: Facebook/Courtney’s Comeback
Waldon has described her love for her daughter and her religion as the key factors behind her recovery. But the outpouring of love for her and her remarkable story has been revealed through comments left on the GoFundMe page. Describing her story as heart-breaking and inspiring, more than 6,000 people have donated so far. If you would like to add to that figure, go here.
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Image: Facebook/Courtney’s Comeback
Nowadays Waldon wears a butterfly necklace to remind her that her journey towards recovery will always be worth the struggle. After receiving the present from an anonymous admirer, she said on Facebook, “Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, she became a butterfly.”
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Image: GoFundMe
Despite all that she has been through, Waldon’s positivity and vitality have brought her to a happy place. Her courage, strength and personal faith have never wavered. Now, together with her daughter, a new home on the way, and with love in her life once more, that faith has been confirmed.

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