The hot water bottle burst open burning my stomach and thigh

Ayanda Bhebhe was weeks away from writing her matric exams when she filled a hot water bottle to keep her warm one cold night. As she moved the hot water bottle over her stomach to warm herself, the bottle burst. The freshly boiled water burnt Ayanda’s stomach and the inside of her left thigh. 


Ayanda says “It felt like my skin was melting. I could feel the heat sinking in deep inside my skin. It was excruciating. When I arrived at Baragwanath Hospital they scheduled me for surgery the next day so that they could apply a Biobrane dressing to my burns.” 


The nurses at Baragwanath Hospital were very kind. It was carefully explained to me how the Biobrane dressing would protect the wound and help it to heal. The Biobrane dressing helped because they didn’t have to change my dressings every day. The only thing that needed to be changed was my bandages. The Biobrane dressing stayed there because it was stapled to my skin."


"Even though a water burn is very serious, I was discharged from hospital after only nine days! After two weeks they removed the Biobrane dressing and my scars had healed really well! I could see that my own skin had started to recover."

Biobrane on arm  

Example of a Biobrane dressing applied to a hand

"I went back to school and I wrote my matric exams and then the next year I went on and did my BComm accounting degree at the University of Johannesburg. I graduated and this year I’m doing my post-graduate diploma in accounting. I’m going to be a chartered accountant and after that, well … the world’s my oyster!"

This whole experience made me a stronger person than I was before. The way I used to look at life is different from the way I look at it now. Back then I was only eighteen and an 18-year old wants to look glamorous – you know, artificial things. But it’s not all about that.  I am very grateful for the treatment I received.



Biobrane is a biosynthetic wound dressing constructed of a silicone film with a nylon fabric partially imbedded into the film. The fabric presents to the wound bed a complex 3-D structure of trifilament thread to which collagen has been chemically bound. Blood/sera clot in the nylon matrix, thereby firmly adhering the dressing to the wound until epithelialisation occurs.

Ayanda Bhebhe
“After two weeks they removed the Biobrane dressing and my scars had healed really well! My own skin had started to recover.  I was able to go back to school and write my matric exams. I am just so grateful for the treatment I got.” 

Watch the video.  Visit Vimeo to hear Ayanda tell her story.