Muhammad Alaudin Mohd Zaid, 16, says his schoolmates teased him about his scars
KUALA TERENGGANU (NST): Third degree burn scars on his face and most of his body have not stopped Muhammad Alaudin Mohd Zaid from leading a normal life.
The 16-year-old boy who cheated death after his uncle pulled him out from a burning kitchen about 10 years ago, attends school, plays football and goes fishing like other normal teenagers.
The Form Four student at SMK Belara said he could not remember much about the incident at his home in Kampung Bukit Guntong near Banggol Peradong.
“I was 6 at the time and I remember being in the kitchen with two of my cousins watching my uncle tinkering with his home-made bamboo canon.
“I noticed there was a can of kerosene too and the next thing I remember was a loud booming noise and flames everywhere,” he said.
Alaudin remembered screaming in pain and said he must have passed out as he did not recall being pulled out of the kitchen by his uncle.
“The next thing I knew, I was in a hospital bed and I remained there for a long time. I missed most of my first year of school at SK Banggol Peradong but when I was fit enough to attend school most of the students there did not miss noticing my scarred body,” he said.
Alaudin said primary school was tough at first as some children were cruel enough to make fun of his condition by calling him all kind of names.
“Some of the names made me cry but I didn’t mind ‘Scarface’ as my teachers told me the famous Hollywood movie star Al Pacino was also called ‘Scarface’. (Pacino played Tony Montana, a Cuban mobster in Miami whose nickname was Scarface, in the 1983 movie also called Scarface.)
“But things got better over time especially when I made it to the the football team and a lot of boys at school wanted to be my friends,” he said.
Football proved to be his salvation. As a secondary school student Alaudin regularly played in the school and district football team.
“Last year was the best year ever as I was part of the Kuala Terengganu North football team which won the state championships.
“I wish I could do a little better academically as it is my ambition to become a doctor to help support my family,” he said.
As the elder of two children he said he knew his mother Jamilah Mohamad, 38, a helper at a cafeteria in a polytechnic in town, had sacrificed a lot to raise the family.
Jamilah, who has been a single mother for more than five years, said it was impossible to send Alaudin for scar removal surgery.
“I have heard of skin flap or graft but I am sure whatever that is, it is not something that I can afford on my meagre salary.
“High on my priority list now is to have enough food on the table and make sure that Alaudin and 13-year-old Siti Nuratiqa finish school,” she said. — By Zainuddin Muhammad