The incredible recovery of a boy whose face was burnt off by a cup of tea


This is the smiling face of toddler Isambard Ebbutt who amazed doctors by recovering from 32 per cent burns without a scar — after tipping a boiling cup of tea over his head.

Isambard, who is now almost three-years-old, suffered horrific burns to his head and torso after the scalding tea cascaded down his body.

He was rushed to Frenchay Hospital in Bristol where doctors feared he could suffer severe scarring or contract potentially fatal infections.

But incredibly Isambard recovered to return home within ten days of the accident and has suffered no lasting damage.

Mum-of-six Natalie Ebbutt, 37, who lives in Torquay, Devon, praised the doctors who saved her son’s face.

She said: ”It is so poignant that a cup of tea can kill but I don’t think that parents are aware of the damage that a cup of tea can do.

”I see adults walking around all the time with hot drinks near children. I thought he was going to die.

”There is never a day that goes by when we don’t think how lucky we are to have him in such a perfect condition and see his smiling face.”

Isambard was aged just 13 months when he received 32 per cent burns from a cup of tea in September 2008.

He was treated by a team of experts at the South West Regional Paediatric Burns Service (SWRPBS) and his skin fully healed without the need for grafts.

Scientists at the University of Bath are now working with the SWRPBS as part of a 4.5 million Euro project to create a new dressing to help burns victims.

The ‘Bacteriosafe’ technology will work by releasing antibiotics from nanocapsules triggered by the presence of pathogenic bacteria.

The dressing has also been designed to change colour when the antibiotic is released, alerting nurses and doctors that there is infection in the wound.

Medical experts believe the invention will protect burns patients, particularly children, against the potentially fatal toxic shock syndrome caused by infections.

Natalie added: ”I knew that the biggest chance of losing my child was if an infection took hold. All I could do was cross my fingers and hope for the best.

”To think now that there is a possibility of avoiding serious infection and complications with this project is amazing.

”It’s a very exciting breakthrough, I am now all too aware of the dangers and what can happen if a burns wound gets an infection. It’s devastating.”



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