« Listen, it was a Friday night: 22 December 1989. I was going to drive Nicolas and one of the Vanoverbeek girls to music class in Grez-Doiceau. On my way back from school, I was on the Wavre-Louvain road and at the Archennes crossroads I stopped to turn left. It was dark, 8 o’clock in the evening, December. There was a car coming in front of me, so I stopped to wait for this car to pass so I could turn. And at that moment – BOOM – someone hit my car from behind.« 

The car caught fire from the inside. Moeckette was burned on her hands, arms, face, and legs down to her thighs. She spent four months in the Charleroi hospital in the department of burns. Enough time to cover all her wounds with skin grafts.

Life was complicated at the beginning, but slowly she adapted. Her hands and face were reconstructed. « It’s not very pretty, but that’s how it is, » she says, laughing. « At least I can do a lot of things because I have a pair of pliers. » She has relearned to drive with an adapted car and uses special cutlery.

Today, 30 years later, Moeckette is retired. She tells me her story with humour and ease.