A Swedish singer has become an icon of determination after being involved in a serious train accident that left him with third-degree burns and extensive scars.
In 2012, one summer evening, the then 19-year-old Axel Schylstrom climbed to the top of a train in Sweden, but came into contact with power lines.
He received a 16,000 volt electric shock which resulted in burns to 70 per cent of his body, putting him in hospital with third degree burns.
Before his accident, Axel was also a promising teenage footballer, but the accident left doctors questioning if he would ever walk again.
But after years of intensive rehabilitation and over 50 surgeries, he able to do to more than walk, and once he was out of hospital, Axel turned to music and decided to embrace his scars.
Axel Schylstrom received a 16,000 volt electric shock when he was just 19 years old, burning 70 per cent of his body
Axel and his girlfriend Malin, who he met when training to be a physical therapist, which he was inspired to do by his own therapist after his accident. While he did not become a physical therapist, turning to music instead, he says he’s very happy he found Marin
As an aspiring musician, his major musical breakthrough came in 2015 when he appeared on Swedish Idol, ultimately finishing in fourth place, and released his first single ‘The Champion’.
Now aged 27, Axel has also become a motivational speaker to help others that have been burnt and inspire people to embrace their unique beauty.
He has also written an autobiography intended to help inspire and motivate others to overcome their personal challenges
Ahead of his appurtenance of the UK’s ‘Shake my Beauty’ on Truly, Axel told the television channel: ‘It’s okay to be different. It’s okay to love yourself even though you don’t look like everybody else.
‘The beauty is not the way you look – it’s about the way you look at yourself.’
He was hospitalised and had to undergo extensive physiotherapy to recover from his injuries, but was left with severe scarring across his body
As an aspiring musician, his major musical breakthrough came in 2015 when he appeared on Swedish Idol and got to the Swedish semifinals of the Eurovision song contest (pictured, Melodifestivalen)
Shake my Beauty is a television show that showcases people with a variety of people with unique bodies, with the aim to show that aims to ‘redefine what beauty means’.
Recalling the accident, he said: ‘It was weird going from being this cool guy, the popular guy with confidence and looks, and just over one night – that all changed – and my confidence was gone, my old looks were gone.
He says that he doesn’t remember the accident, but he does remember being woken up by a police officer who told him what had happened.
Axel now works as a motivational speaker, helping others who have suffered burns. After 457 days and about 50 surgeries, he was able to play football again
While be blames himself for what happened when he was 19, he has been able to forgive himself
‘The first month of being a burn victim was about surviving. But once that him me, that I was never going to look the same … that was a hard hit for me to take.’
He has since come to terms with the accident, he says, and while he does not remember why he climbed on top the train, he says while be blames himself for what happened, he has been able to forgive himself for doing it.
‘I definitely think that I get judged by some people. Some people think I look weird, some people think I look scary. And also once I got into music, people thought I should just hide,’ he says. ‘Receiving all that judgement is also one piece to just letting it go.’