Emma Schols, a mother of six, walked back into the fire in only her underwear to save her children from the blazing house. She overcame all odds despite serious burns to 93 percent of her body. She was crowned Lifeguard of the Year 2020 at the Swedish Heroes Gala last month.
“I tossed the boys out the front door and closed the door behind them so they wouldn’t come back.”
The worst-case scenario occurred in September of this year. Emma Schols, a mother of six, slept alone at home with her children. She was startled to hear a fire in the villa’s basement, where two of her younger sons were.
“I hurried after them because they had just woken up and gone down.” I wouldn’t have realized how horrible it would be then. In an interview with Angelica Hagen for Aftonbladet, Schols said, “My only thought was that I had to get the boys who had taken refuge in the playroom out.”
The fire got oxygen just as she was about to open the front door, and there was an explosion!
“I put myself over the boys like a shield to protect them from harm. It seemed as if my entire back was on fire as the flames hit me. But I persisted. I tossed the boys out the front door and locked it to prevent them from returning. They were frightened.”
Emma yelled for the kids upstairs to come out onto the balcony.
“Then the entire staircase caught fire. I thought ‘this is not possible’ at each step, but then realized that it had to go since four of my children were still up there. The soles of the feet began to drop from the feet due to the extreme heat. “They dangle like threads.”
Every step Emma took up the stairwell burned.
Nellie, 9, had leaped from the second floor to seek assistance from a neighbor. William, the eldest son, attempted to lower a ladder so that those who remained could escape.
“When I came out on the balcony, the boys were taken aback. My body was covered in open burns and I was bleeding profusely. My hair was like a chunk of charcoal on my head, and the skin on my chest had started to peel away.”
“I might die now,” I thought.
Emma noticed that Mollie, her one-year-old daughter, was not on the balcony.
“I figured that if she’s still in there, she’s definitely dead, but I need to attempt to get her out.”
On the balcony, Emma’s sons attempted to prevent her from entering the fire again. But she’d made up her mind and dragged herself into the bedroom down the floor.
“The smoke was heavy and it was difficult to breathe.” I was exhausted, but I could see Mollie standing in her bed, crying and afraid, through the smoke. Then I was hit by such a powerful force that I was able to get to my feet and pick her up.”
Emma explains, “I only had my own body, no blanket, no protection, just myself and my mother’s love.”
Her son William had the steps in place on the balcony.
“It was as though my feet stuck to each step as I walked down the stairs with Mollie.” “All I was doing was bleeding.”
Emma passed out at the last step.
“Then it felt like all of the anguish arrived at once.” It was excruciatingly painful. I had brought all the children out and was thinking that now was the time for me to die.”
“Are the kids still alive?”
Emma assured her eldest son William, who was the last kid to leave her side, that he would return home soon before the ambulance arrived and she was put to sleep. During my stay in the hospital, this vow became a mantra.
The six youngsters escaped with very minor injuries. Emma was on a respirator for three weeks, on the verge of passing away. People who survive even 90% of burns are extremely rare. Emma’s body was 93 percent burned.
“The first thing that sprang to mind when I awoke was, ‘Are the kids alive?'”
Emma had a difficult time trusting the hospital staff. The image of Mollie in the crib, as well as the children’s terror, were seared in the mind. The youngsters were only allowed to visit the hospital after a month and a half.
“It was amazing, but it was also challenging.” Mollie, the youngest, did not recognize me. That was most likely the most difficult portion. She didn’t want to near me. Which makes sense with all of the equipment and hoses. Then I had an entirely different appearance.”
“I don’t take anything for granted anymore, and I’m glad for every day we have together.”
Emma, who has always been active and lively, had more than one goal in mind when she returned home to her family. She wanted to be a part of dropping off and picking up the kids at preschool and school. She desired to play with her cildren.
“When I was transferred from Uppsala’s burn unit to Hudiksvall’s hospital, the nurses wanted to take a picture of me to remember how good it may be.” If someone else comes in with such severe burns, I’ll let you know. No one expected my recuperation to be completed so quickly.”
Emma has been living in an apartment with her family, as they wait for the house to be restored. She’s back on horseback and finding great adventures and fun with the kids, in addition to the rehab training she needs to complete every day.
“At long last, they recognize me.” The fire and everything we’ve been through has left scars on my body and harmed my entire family. But all we’ve been through has brought us closer together. Today, I take nothing for granted and am thankful for each and every day we have together.”
Her son William spoke about the time after the fire during the feature at the Swedish Heroes Gala.
“You sometimes thought that you might never see your mother again. But now we get to see her almost every day and then you will be happy.”