Battery Explosion

(Warning: graphic photos below)

Tapas, ahh small plates of food that do not disappoint. I first fell in love with tapas when I studied in Madrid, Spain back in 2003.

Can you find me?

Can you find me?

In Madrid, you’d take a seat at your neighborhood Taperia (tapas bar) and with each drink order (vino, sangria or cerveza) the waiter would bring out a small tapas dish.

White Currant Berry Sangria

White Currant Berry Sangria

A slice of creamy tortilla, a plate of perfectly crisp fried calamari, or maybe my personal favorite, a few translucent slices of Iberian ham. It’s up to the restaurant owner or bartender to decide which tapas will accompany your drink. It’s considered rude to ask for a particular tapa but really, there is no need to get picky when someone is giving me free plates of delicious food. Bring. It. On. All of it, please :)

Last Sunday Mr. WAMC and I were getting ready to host our own tapas party. I created a new client menu for my personal chef business that I was really proud of and I wanted our friends to be the first to sample my new tapas. Also, I wanted to try out my new, sophisticated camera (yay! no more blurry iPhone photos!)

Sadly, the camera was never used and the party was cancelled.

Battery Explosion

By 4pm, I had finished cooking and displaying the tapas dishes for the party. I had 1.5 hours left to make dessert, clean the kitchen, and make myself look presentable. So, it was time to lower my music and get started on my favorite tapas dessert, churros. Fried dough sticks rolled in sugar, how could you not like them? Anyway, I filled a pot with about 1 1/2 cups of frying oil and waited a few minutes for it to heat up. I hate frying-it’s messy, unhealthy and makes a mess but I thought churros were worth the trouble.

I wanted to check the temperature of the oil so I placed a thermometer into the pot but it slipped out of my hands and fell inside. At the time, the oil wasn’t very hot so I quickly pulled the thermometer out by hand and set it aside.

I continued to fry a few churros when BOOM! Explosion. I didn’t know what happened. I just remember hearing a loud burst and screaming for Mr. WAMC. The rest of that evening was a nightmare. I was brought to Massachusetts General Hospital by ambulance and stayed there until I was discharged yesterday at 7:30pm.

I was treated in the hospital for 1st degree burns to my face, 2nd degree burns to my right arm, upper left arm, and stomach and a 3rd degree burn to my left hand. Everything happened so quickly

It wasn’t until hours later when Mr. WAMC went back to his house that he figured out what caused the explosion. He found a small lithium battery that had fallen out of the thermometer I was using and into the pot.


Surgery (warning: graphic photos below)

I had a third degree burn on my left hand so I needed a skin graft if I wanted to keep my left hand. To prepare for surgery, the doctors removed the dead, burned skin on both my hands, revealing a ghostly white and rose pink flesh. Had I not been heavily medicated, I would have screamed and escaped the hospital. Was that really my hand?

Third Degree Burn

The next day, I woke up in a daze and was wheeled down to the operating room. The doctor’s cut a large portion of skin from my right thigh and transferred it to my left hand and the top of my forearm. As if I didn’t have enough wounds on my body! The 2nd degree burns on my right hand received a xenotransplantation…which means my burns were covered (transplanted) with pig skin. What the h*** is going on? Is this real life?

Skin GraftSecond degree burn

Moving Forward

It’s going to take at least 4-6 weeks for my burns to heal. I’ll have to see an Occupational Therapist weekly,  and follow-up with my doctors at Mass. General regularly.

More Surgery

Tomorrow, August 6th, I’m heading back to Mass. General Hospital at 7am for a myomectomy. Last year, my OBGYN found 4 grapefruit-size benign, tumors in my uterus. These tumors have made my life pretty miserable causing bloating, weight-gain, horrible cramps, and excruciating back pain. The thing with fibroids is that no one really knows what causes them so my only options were to deal with the pain a little longer or have them removed.

Uterine Fibroids-Myomectomy

(update: pictured above are the 5 uterine fibroid’s that my doctor removed)

So, needless to say, the next 2 months are going to be tough but I know I’ll be fine. The love my family and friends have shown me this past week has been incredible- with you guys by my side, I can get through anything.


My MGH roommate- we kept each other laughing & smiling all week

My MGH roommate- we kept each other laughing & smiling all week

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About Vanessa L

My name is Vanessa, and I’m a 29 year old Personal Chef in the Greater Boston Area. Nothing gives me more pleasure than watching friends and families gather together to enjoy a good meal that I’ve created. Full Bio »


  1. Now I know the rest of the story!

    I can’t believe you are back to blogging already. You are my new hero!

  2. First off i want to start by saying i love the pic of us in MGH! Secondly, i just wanted to let you know that i’ve had much more time to browse your site and i LOVE IT!! All the recipes sound delicious, and the website its self is outstanding, very cute! :-) <3 xoxo

    • Thank you Ashley!!! I’m so glad you like the site. Once we’re both healed, come over and I’ll cook you something delicious :)

      Hope you’re having a blast in Aruba!

  3. V,
    You are an amazingly strong, beautiful woman who has already proved you can survive anything! I will always be here for you. You are my best friend :) Enjoy your comfy new lounge wear! Praying all goes well tomorrow so you can get back in the saddle and cook up those awesome eats when you are better!!!
    With Love,

    • Thanks so much sue! I absolutely love my new loungewear :)
      Thanks for being such a great friend- you are my strength


  4. So proud of you Vanessa, you are a little firecracker,you will be back in the kitchen in no time.Love you

  5. Vanessa, I am truly sorry that this has happened to you. What a terrifying event! With that being said, I know that you have an amazing sass and spunk for life that will help you to recover in NO time :)
    Sending you love!

  6. I’m really sorry to hear that you’re having such a hard time. I had no idea about your accident since I’ve been on and off (more so off) my social media accounts for the past few weeks. And I hope your surgery went well last week. You sound so positive about everything, which is truly inspiring. I wish you a speedy recovery!

    Your blog is hilarious and entertaining, btw! I’ve really enjoyed browsing some of your older posts.


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