Warning: Graphic images
Nearly a decade ago, Australian woman Dana Vulin was left fighting for her life after she was doused in methylated spirits and set alight by a jealous woman.
Natalie Dimitrovska wanted to ruin Dana’s “pretty face” after claiming she had spoken to her estranged husband at a party.
Dimitrovska was sentenced to 17 years in jail but Dana was given her own life sentence – suffering third-degree burns to 64 per cent of her body.
She became known as the “girl behind the mask” – forced to wear a compression bandage that covered her scorched face entirely for two and a half long years.
In 2014 Dana bravely removed that mask – moving the hearts of Australians as she did so on Seven’s Sunday Night.
Now, as the 10-year anniversary of that callous attack approaches, Dana has a candid message for the woman who tried to ruin her.
“It’s a big f*** you to the person who burnt me,” Dana, 35, says in an exclusive interview with 7Life.
“She tried to eradicate my appearance and now all she has done is immortalise me.
“I physically can’t age, I will never wrinkle, I will never get jowls, batwings … nothing.”
“As time progresses, I’m looking younger and tighter, younger and tighter.”
Over the years Dana has undergone so many skin grafts, reconstructive surgeries and cosmetic procedures that she has lost count.
But one thing she is certain of – the “real” Dana is finally back.
“People think they are gangster, you don’t know what gangster is until you get burnt alive and you make this recovery,” Dana says with trademark candour.
“I’ve had so many a******* but to be honest, I couldn’t give a s***.
“I had thick skin before and now I literally have thick skin.”
And she laughs off trolls who mock her appearance.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re Mother f****** Theresa, you’re going to get judged,” she says.
“As I progress and become more and more like Dana again I care zero per cent to be filtered.
“And if I am going to get judged at least I’m going to get judged for me whereas in the beginning I felt like I was a polished turd and I was still getting judged.
“Now the more I’m me there’s no judgment. Not that it worries me, I got burnt alive… sticks and stones you know.”
Dana’s new chapter
Now, the woman who spent two years sleeping in the crucifix position says she is ready to pass on her positivity.
These days she has her own self-run clinic I am D Aesthetics where she focuses on delivering injectables as well as cosmetic tattoo services.
Proudly displaying her long list of university degrees including her Master’s of Science specialising in nursing, Dana is giving other people their faces back.
From helping fellow burns victims to those experiencing hair loss Dana says her new line of work is healing.
“They told me I would never be able to hold a pen again so to have the level of intricacy I do is phenomenal but also I have two clients that are my doctors so I think that says a lot of their trust in me,” Dana says,
“It’s just a big compliment and how it makes my heart feel.”
Opening up about some of the clients she has seen, she says she couldn’t be more humble they put their trust in her.
“I like to say I have been doing a 10 year apprenticeship, that’s how long I have been burnt for really,” she says.
“I’m someone who knows what it takes to get your face back. I worked really, really hard to look like Dana again.
“And people who come to me want to look like them, no one wants to look like someone else,” she says.