- Born to a single mother in Flint, MI in 1977
- Became a victim of a senseless act of child abuse on November 18, 1978
- At 14 months old he was clinging to life after his abusers attempt to kill him
- Became a Ward of the State of Michigan and was placed into foster care
- After numerous surgeries, lengthily battles with anger, loneliness, depression and substance abuse, Keith hit rock bottom at age 35.
- His life was changed forever, by receiving and giving forgiveness
Keith Edmonds is not a victim of child abuse. He is a survivor.
“When something tragic in life occurs, you have three choices,” the author and public speaker says. “You can bottle it up, develop resentment, or face the situation head-on.”
For Keith, it was a choice he was forced to face young. At just 14 months old his mother’s boyfriend held his face to an electric heater, leaving his face covered in gruesome, horrific burns. His mother was told to prepare for the worst. Despite a low chance of survival, Keith recovered, bearing not only an emotional scar but the physical evidence across his face.
It’s not a face he’d change. When he was eleven years old, Keith was offered total reconstructive surgery – and refused. “How I look is a part of who I am,” he says. “It’s how people identify me as Keith. I felt having the surgery might change that.”
Though his upbringing was far from easy – coping sometimes meant shoplifting or alcohol – Keith is a survivor of the horrors he was forced to face, and is resilient not just in spite of them but through them. “Everyone has scars,” he says. “Some wear them outwardly, while some wear them on the inside.”
Bearing one’s scars with pride takes courage. No matter what scars they may be, Keith is living proof that no matter the obstacle, there’s a way to smile through them.