Dr. Albert Paintsil, Interplast's surgical outreach director in Accra, Ghana is busy repairing burn contractures for some of Ghana's poorest patients.
This 6-month old boy, Kweku, was burned badly on his face, torso and arm when he was just 2 weeks old. The mother says she doesn't know how it happened, she just found the baby's bed on fire when she returned from another room. Dr. Paintsil has already done a number of skin grafts on Kweku's face to restore function to the eyelids (making it possible for him to close his eyes again) and give him new skin around his eyes. The different pigmentation of the skin is due to the fact that the graft was taken from the baby's thigh, where his skin is darker. Kweku has also undergone a contracture release on his arm, also performed by Dr. Paintsil through Interplast's burn outreach program.... and the poor little guy still needs more surgery!
Dr. Paintsil plans to release a contracture to fix Kweku's lip, and will have to conduct several more surgeries as the baby grows. Dr. Paintsil is devoted to caring for Kweku as long as necessary in order to ensure that he grown up to be a healthy boy who can function in society. When talking about Kweku today, Dr. Paintsil said, "The conclusion I have come to with this patient is that he is a survivor. He is a very strong boy" I can't see how anyone could disagree with that, given what Kweku has already been through in his short life.