At just 6 years old, Shantonia Wayne was brutally run over by a van. Her small and delicate leg was trapped under a tire. The van’s driver, in panic, reversed to free her; however, the maneuver ripped the skin and flesh off her left leg, sending her straight to the emergency room.
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
Showing you where I was to where I came. I was hit by a van when I was 6 years old and almost lost my leg, at first I spent a year and half in the hospital, I had dressings everyday, surgeries every Friday and painful nights and days. I'm sure 95 percent of you don't know this because I've probably never shared this with anyone. People have seen and questioned and questioned and questioned and I eventually got fed up so I avoided confrontations – I just wore clothes that covered my leg. I couldn't in school because we had a uniform and of course I was bullied by some and called names, especially in primary school – Sometimes I was even excluded because of my leg, which is so stupid because accidents happen, scars shouldn't define a person. My scars are my proof of my strength. Many years later I have evolved, I have evolved into self love and acceptance, I wear what I want and I am happy with myself – truly. I have always risen above my circumstances and my leg has never stopped me from pursing my dreams, it may have slowed me down but never took my hope away. You don't know what I've been through but I have been and continue to be loved for being me, so when you see me smile don't be quick to judge just be happy for me because I'm definitely happy for you. #iammorethan my leg and #iammorethan what people choose to see. #body4me
A post shared by Shantonia Wayne Salhab (@lionofjudahh) on Sep 2, 2015 at 7:50am PDT
Wayne tells Yahoo Beauty, “I suffered extensive damage.” While one doctor wanted to amputate her leg, another doctor, whom she calls her “guardian angel,” intervened and saved it.
“He [the second doctor] objected and decided to work with me on the road to recovery. Thanks to him, I am here now standing tall,” she says. “I have been through it all and refuse to be broken.”
Wayne stayed in the hospital for more than a year and a half, going through many reconstructive leg surgeries.
A post shared by Shantonia Wayne Salhab (@lionofjudahh) on Aug 12, 2017 at 2:26pm PDT
“I was bullied by my peers and excluded by my friends because of my scars. Yet here I am today sharing my story and making a difference for others in similar situations.”
A post shared by Shantonia Wayne Salhab (@lionofjudahh) on Jun 5, 2017 at 11:17am PDT
Wayne thanks her mother for her support and for helping her find self-love. “She taught me that outward beauty is not what the focus is,” she says. “She would always tell me that it’s what’s in your heart that matters.
“I was given a second chance, and I was not going to waste it worrying about how I looked.”
A post shared by Shantonia Wayne Salhab (@lionofjudahh) on May 7, 2017 at 4:53am PDT
Her advice to others dealing with bullies: “Stand strong and don’t be scared to stand up for yourself or speak up about how you feel or how others are making you feel. It is your right to be comfortable in this world — don’t make others make you feel otherwise. Do not make anyone make you feel small.”
Wayne wants to help others who are labeled “different” by society’s standards. “Celebrate your difference because it is what makes you beautiful,” she says.
A post shared by Shantonia Wayne Salhab (@lionofjudahh) on Mar 19, 2017 at 3:53pm PDT
She continues, “I want to help people, I want to help them get through that phase, because I know what it’s like to be there and no one really understands what you’re going through because they cannot physically relate.”
Wayne lives on the Caribbean island of Grenada. She has dreams of going to university in London and wants to continue spreading her self-love message.
A post shared by Shantonia Wayne Salhab (@lionofjudahh) on Apr 14, 2017 at 4:22am PDT
“No matter what you look like, your size, your background, your religion, and your scars, you are literally so beautiful,” she says.
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