Kilee Brookbank nearly died 18 months ago, when a gas leak lead to a fiery explosion in her Ohio home. After a long, difficult road to recovery, she was named prom queen of Huntington High School three weeks ago.
Kilee was home alone in November 2014 when she lit a candle. She wasn’t aware that an undetected gas leak would make that candle potentially deadly, and was a lucky to escape. She lost her hair and 45 percent of her skin, leaving scars on her arms, legs, back, and stomach. Following the accident, she spent 38 days in the hospital undergoing multiple surgeries.
“I never really thought I’d want to be in a dress again,” Kilee told Inside Edition. “I just didn’t think I’d be comfortable in my own body.”
One thing that didn’t totally suck: a certain dude named Justin Bieber swung by the hospital to cheer her up.
She attended prom as a junior last year in a long-sleeved dress and a sparkly headband on top of her freshly grown-in hair.
During her recovery, she wrote a book called Beautiful Scars, which tells the story of Kilee and her family in the months following the fire.
By the time her senior prom rolled around in May, she felt confident in her own skin again.
“Putting on my dress felt great,” she wrote on KiCamProjects.com. “Last year, I was wearing long sleeves and a dress I didn’t like that well. It was hard to find something that worked with the garments I had to wear during my recovery. But this year, I was happy I could wear a dress I was in love with.”
Her boyfriend Dylan has stuck by her side throughout the whole ordeal, telling Inside Edition that Kylee is “the most beautiful girl” he’s ever seen.
Her classmates felt the same way: they voted her prom queen!
“That was the best prom ever, and I definitely think it was the most fun I’ve had in a while,” Kilee wrote.