Like more than 2 billion people worldwide, Quynh’s family in Vietnam does
their cooking over open fires. One day, as they were cooking food for their
pigs, Quynh, who was just 9 months old and already walking, neared the fire
and stuck her hand in to touch it. She received a terrible burn.
The skin of Quynh’s hand contracted, or tightened, as the burn wound
healed, limiting her ability to move her fingers. Her hand had become
permanently fist-like, limiting her ability to take part in vital activities like holding a
pencil or gathering sticks.
Quynh survived her burn, but many don’t. More girls in Southeast Asia die of fires than die
of tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and malaria combined. Girls in that region also
lose more productive years from injuries from fires than from the combined impact of HIV/AIDS and malaria. Thanks to ReSurge, Quynh received surgery that will help her lead a
normal productive life – going to school and eventually contributing to society.
Volunteer surgeons completed two procedures on her hand: a burn
contracture release and a skin graft. The operations significantly improved her
hand mobility—and her quality of life. As long as billions of people around
the world cook over open fires, there will be victims like Quynh who are in
need of life-transforming reconstructive surgery. We are glad Quynh will have
not be added to the stark statistics, but has had her future restored.