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Main | April 2005 »

Susan: Giang

  Originally uploaded by interplast.

13-year old Giang and his mother came to the Interplast clinic from Cai Lay, about 2 hours' bus ride from My Tho. At age 11, Giang was playing with an older boy one afternoon. There was no power in their home at the time, and so the older boy lit a candle with alcohol. A huge flame burst forth, and instinctively reacting, the boy threw the candle away from him, in Giang's direction. It burnt Giang very badly, causing a large contracture and keloid scar on his right cheek, and burning badly his neck, chest, and arms. It also severely deformed his ears, which developed additional disfiguring keloids.

Translator Le Ha and I had a conversation with the boy as he sat alone and unsmiling, waiting for his surgery. I asked him if he went to school, and he replied that he stopped one year ago. Le Ha asked why and he answered because the children make fun of him. Giang's father left the family long ago, and Giang's mother is a rice farmer. Now Giang helps her in the fields instead of attending school.

To see more of Giang, Susan, and other doctors, patients and helpers from Cusco, check out the My Tho, Vietnam surgical trip blog.

Cusco, Peru: Jose Luis and Julito Say "aaaaaah"

  Jose Luis and Julito Say "aaaaaah" 
  Originally uploaded by interplast.

And here is a photo of Jose Luis, who you met yesterday with his father. Simone was trying to check out his palate this morning after yesterday’s successful surgery. You’ll notice that Julio the puppet is in the background showing Jose Luis how to open his mouth and say “aaaaah”…

To see more of Jose Luis, Julito the Dragon, Simone and other doctors, patients, and helpers from Cusco, check out the Cusco, Peru surgical trip blog.

Loja, Ecuador: Nadia and Angel

  Nadia and Angel 
  Originally uploaded by interplast.

Two of my favorites were in the pediatric ward, Angel Cartuche, 3, and Gladys Gualan, 5. They have been in very good hands. Surgeon Nadia Afridi is pictured here changing Angel’s dressings. The two seem as different as Loja and NYC, but maybe not. Angel walked two hours from a northern village, and burned himself playing with a lamp filled with gasoline a year ago. Nadia’s family is from Pakistan, raised in Canada, and now newly married, living in NYC/Manhattan. Nadia said she’s really admired Angel because he has shown a lot of strength and courage through the operational ordeal. This could describe Nadia as well.

Nadia has been in good hands, too. As a Webster fellow, she learns and operates by working with Dr. Moore and Dr. Gould on the team. “You see one, do one, and teach one,” Nadia remarked. “That’s the way to learn.”

To see more of Angel, Nadia and other doctors, patients, and helpers from Loja, check out the Loja, Ecuador surgical trip blog.

Global Health