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Renowned photographer Phil Borges traveled to Zambia to learn about the crisis of burn injuries in developing countries.
A Contracture Released, A Life Renewed

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. Luckily, Quynh is more than a grim statistic; she has had her future restored.

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