As the director of international services at ReSurge International, Amy Laden is often contacted by individuals and other nonprofits seeking help for impoverished children who need surgery. She works to connect patients in need with our surgeons in developing countries.
About a year ago, a man from a small humanitarian organization contacted her regarding a boy in Sierra Leone.
Eleven-year-old Sorie spilled kerosene on his shirt one day. Later, he was carrying a lit lantern when the wind started to blow. To protect the flame from the wind, Sorie placed the lamp beneath his kerosene-soaked shirt. Tragically, the flame mixed with the residual kerosene and ignited his shirt, causing terrible burns from his waist to his chin, and on his arms and legs. Sadly, Sorie was just one of more than 6 million people in poor countries who are severely burned each year (more school-aged children die of fires each year than of tuberculosis or malaria).
Sorie became more than a faceless statistic when a group of humanitarian organizations worked together to get him the help he needed. ReSurge doesn’t work in Sierra Leone but our medical partner in Ghana offered to perform the reconstructive surgeries (four so far) that released his severely contracted arm and neck.
Today, Sorie can use his arm and move his neck. “It’s exciting to realize that Sorie now has a chance at a much brighter future. Just a few surgeries dramatically improved his life and the life of his family,” said Laden, who made the connection between the humanitarian organization and our Ghana center. “I’m really glad we at ReSurge had a chance to be part of his transformation.”