For two years after the accident, Yei Yang refused to leave his home.

“I couldn’t farm, I couldn’t go to see friends, as they might be afraid of me,” Yang tells CNN.

“I didn’t want to live.”

Yang was just 22 and burning rubbish near his village in the province of Xieng Khoung in north-eastern Laos, when a bomb blast tore off one of his eyelids, his top lip and an ear, mutilated one of his arms, and left him with severe scarring from the waist up.