Right after he saved burns victim Dana’s life, Dennis wondered if he’d done the right thing.

Video by The Project

Some of the images featured in this article may be distressing.

In February of 2012, a woman by the name of Natalie Dimitrovska broke into Dana Vulin’s Perth apartment, doused her in methylated spirits and set her on fire.

Now serving a 17 year sentence in jail, Natalie was convinced that Dana was having an affair with her ex-husband, despite the fact that Vulin had only spoken to him once at a casino.

However after she left Dana to burn, a man by the name of Dennis Ericson heard her screams on his way back from the gym, rushed into her apartment and immediately placed her in the shower – a move that paramedics later told him saved her life.

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Meeting for the first time, six years later on Channel Ten’s The Project, Dennis said that he remembers thinking that when the ambulance drove away he didn’t know whether he, “did the right thing.”

“Some people said to me she should die. She should really die because she’s not going to have a life.

“It would have been 12 or 18 months later that I started to live with the fact that you were going to survive and hopefully it would be okay,” he told Dana.

Despite this, he says that he still wondered what her life was going to be like.

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As a result of the attack, Dana suffered third degree burns to 60% of her body and describes being in the shower as feeling like “acid was eating into [her] face and body.”

However, speaking to Carrie Bickmore, she says that the “pain was nothing in comparison to the aftermath.”

“I slept sitting up on a crucifix for two and a half years.

“T
hey’ve taken my groin which is grafted, my groin on my hips, my armpits and my skull. They shaved my entire skull to graft my entire face. That’s the basics of the operation. I know, it’s crazy.”

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Despite this, six years after the incident, and nearly 200 medical procedures later, Dana lives with a strictly ‘glass half full’ sense of optimism, something which propelled her to write her book titled Worth Fighting For, which was published in November 2017.

Finally coming face-to-face with the man that saved her life, she was all too ready to expel any thoughts that he had done the wrong thing.

“I have a good life because of you and I’m so grateful you saved me,” she said to her rescuer. 

“Life was hard but I’m happy to be alive. I want to be alive. What happened to me was so ugly and so cruel but the world has so much beauty in it and you’re part of that beauty.”

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