Rinchin, 13, wants to be a movie star. He is one of the patients we met recently when students from Stanford University’s Design for Extreme Affordability course were in Kathmandu conducting field research, trying to find ways to prevent burn disabilities – like Rinchin’s – before they happen.
Rinchin has not had full use of his left arm since he was 5 years old, when hot cooking oil spilled on him. Because he did not get appropriate treatment when he was first burned, a burn scar contracture developed, leaving him unable to raise or extend his left arm.
He and his father traveled a day from their home in Sindnupalcholik, one of the least developed areas in Nepal, to come to Kathmandu. Their goal was to receive free surgery to mend Rinchin’s arm, so he could move his arms enough to reach the handlebars and ride a bike.
Dr. Kiran Nakarmi, director of our surgical outreach program in Nepal, and his team performed the surgery a few days before we arrived. Rinchin is now on the mend and hopefully he will be able to ride a bike soon – perhaps to a movie audition but more likely just to school.
However, with his winning smile, we may just see him on the big screen in the future. Whatever path he chooses, we wish him the best and are grateful we could help him regain the full use of his arm.