Amy Woodward-Davis, who is now 41 years old and a mother herself, survived horrific third and fourth-degree burns that covered 70 per cent of her body.
She was born to a 16-year-old mother who didn't know she was pregnant until she gave birth to Amy in the bathroom of her Kansas City home.
She was discovered by her grandfather who thought he heard a crying kitten. When he looked in the backyard, he found that it was a newborn baby, wrapped in newspapers in a pile of burning trash.
The burns were so bad her race was not immediately clear.
The Houston Chronicle tells the story of how Amy, known at the time as 'baby girl x', was treated and spent more than two decades in and out of Shriner's Hospital which specializes in treating burn victims.
Amy was adopted by Shriner's burn technician Lena Woodward and her husband after they spent a year as the young girl's foster parents.
Though Amy was still young when she asked about her burns, Lena and her husband decided to tell the child so she would at least know it was not them who caused her harm. They explained in terms she could understand: You used to have a bad mama, and she burned you, now you have a good mama.
That was the only explanation Amy needed at the time and the truth she lived with for the next several years.
In March 2006, she spoke to her biological father. He was 19 and living in California when she was born. She was surprised to learn he had returned to Kansas City years later, married Amy's mother, and the couple had two more children, who were raised in the house where Amy was born.
Amy had tracked down the family's phone number from old fire department records. Her father didn't know she existed until the phone call.
He was eager to learn everything about his daughter. So Amy told him a little. She told him about her education, how she was married, but in the middle of a divorce and that she had a beautiful daughter of her own.
But her father wanted more. He asked her to come meet him and their family, including her mother, in Kansas City.
By May, about a week before Mother's Day, she was at their home. From the pictures on the wall, she could tell what the house looked like when her mother was a teenager. Very little changed. Most of the same furniture sat in the same place...
...Amy didn't meet her birth mother in person until the end of her first day visiting. They talked very little, exchanging a few simple pleasantries. They sat next to each other in near silence for about an hour looking straight ahead at a television.
Too nervous to look directly at her mother, Amy stole quick glances of her when she could, amazed at their physical similarities. They had the same head, same full lips and straight teeth. It was the first time, she said, she had seen what she might have looked like without the burns.
After that meeting, Amy asked her mother a few times about what happened the day she was born and how she ended up in a trash fire. But she had no answers. Her birth mother declined to comment for this story.
Amy isn't consumed with hatred for her biological mother. She doesn't believe her mother acted alone. She loves her and calls her mom.
"Just a respect thing, that's who she is, that's her role, she had me, can't take it from her," she said.