Mosquito nets are designed to protect people from malaria, but unfortunately, things can sometimes go terribly wrong when they are placed in homes that rely on open flames for things like lighting and cooking.
Azida was one month old when she was sleeping peacefully under a mosquito net at her home in rural southern Bangladesh. A gust of wind caused the candle near her bed to fall over, catching the mosquito net on fire. Baby Azida survived but was severely burned as a result of the fire.
Her medical treatment was limited because few options were available near her home, and medical facilities in larger cities were out of reach because they were too expensive. Her father is a day laborer and makes the equivalent of about $5 a day, to provide for their family of seven.
Because she did not receive the kind of treatment she needed early on, Azida's burn wounds contracted, causing her hand, arm and wrist to fuse together. She has grown up with only the use of one arm and hand.
Some children with disabilities like Azida's are shunned; consequently, their spirits are sadly but understandably dampened. But sadness and shyness were traits that Azida, at age 4, did not possess. In fact, she had the ability to light up a room with her smile. Her joyful spirit was effusive.
In November, help arrived in the form of our international medical partners from Dhaka and a team of medical volunteers who came to Cox's Bazar, near her home, to provide surgical care for children and adults like her. Her father was thankful that she would finally receive the care she needed.
In a matter of hours, the ReSurge team was able to open up her hand, wrist and fingers. Below is a video of Azida receiving physical therapy. She can now use her hand and fingers but will need additional surgeries to release her elbow and more therapy so that she can write normally and play.
ReSurge needs support from people like you to ensure that Azida and children like her can receive the care they need. As a result, they will thrive in school and live productive lives free of ridicule and shame.