A TEENAGE boy was left with burns so horrific, his doctors said they were the worst they had ever seen.
Covering 60 per cent of his body, Oliver Hart suffered them when a container of flammable liquid caught fire as he was out playing with friends.
The teen rolled on the ground trying to put out the flames engulfing him and friends tried to stamp them out.
In an effort to ease the excruciating pain he was in, Oliver jumped in a nearby stream.
This might seem like the logical thing to do in Oliver's nightmare situation.
But what the poor teenager didn't know is that exposing burns to bodies of water can actually make them more likely to get infected.
As Oliver's mum Emma Burton explained: "It's actually the worst thing you can do – it meant his wounds were infected and he would be more susceptible to infection throughout his recovery."
Oliver, from Bolton, underwent a gruelling 13 hours of surgery at the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital.
It wasn't his only visit to the operating table – the teen was in and out of surgery for eight months after his horrific accident, at one point having one every other day.
Doctors in the hospital's burn unit spent the whole first six weeks simply trying to save his life as he battled infections to his wounds.
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His parents were warned several times that they might lose him, his mum Emma told Manchester Evening News.
But the parents stayed with their boy the whole time, each taking shifts to make sure someone was by Oliver's side every hour of the day.
Emma had to quit her job as a hairdresser, while Oliver's dad took leave from work.
Emma made plain just how bad Oliver's burns were, saying that most people who'd had 70 per cent of their body burned would be unlikely to survive – her son's injuries covered just 10 per cent less of his body.
It also meant that doctors had to get creative when treating the teen.
Though they took skin grafts, they could get these from Oliver's back and chest, as "everything from his elbows down was completely burnt", according to Emma.
Doctors were able to use a foam-based skin substitute called biodegradable temporising matrix (BTM), when they applied to Oliver's body before adding the skin grafts on top.
This relatively new treatment is supposed to help with getting a better long-term scarring outcome for patients.
Sam McNally, a consultant burn surgeon who helped treat Oliver said the teen was one of the first people his team used the technology on but that he hoped it would become "the holy grail of burns treatments".
He added that Oliver's progress "blew him away" and praised his mum for supporting their son steadfastly and figuring out how best to help him based on the medical information health professionals provided her.
After being bandaged and stuck in a stationary position, Oliver was finally able to leave the hospital with the help of crutches eight months after entering it.
Now 15, Oliver is back to living his life as he did before his accident, his amazed mum shared.
"I never, ever thought we'd be where we are now. His skin has healed much quicker than predicted, which has amazed his doctors, he is year ahead of where he was expected to be."
Emma added that her son was "back to being his normal self", though he is a little more cautious than before.
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Though his recovery and treatment will "continue for the rest of his life", Emma shared that Oliver is back to playing football with his friends and going to the gym.
"Words can't describe how unbelievable that is for us," she added, thanking the staff at Royal Manchester Children's hospital for saving his life.
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