Sushan’s Story: Burn Awareness

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Young Sushan from Nepal was only 18-months-old when the unthinkable happened. He was walking with his mother down the busy market streets of Kathmandu when the curious toddler accidentally tipped into a local samosa vendor’s vat of boiling oil. Sushan sustained scald burns all over this arms and hands.

In a panic, Sushan’s mother Basanti rushed him to a local private hospital, only to be sent home four hours later. It is not uncommon for hospitals or clinics unfamiliar with proper burn care and reconstructive surgery to turn burn patients away. Luckily for Sushan, a neighbor referred them to the Nepal Burn and Cleft Center. Here was a place where he could get free treatment thanks to ReSurge International Country Director and Surgical Outreach Partner Dr. Shankar Man Rai and his surgical team of humanitarians.

ReSurge has been working in Nepal with Dr. Rai for almost three decades, providing free reconstructive surgical care for the poor and training local surgical teams in the latest techniques. Tragedy struck Sushan and his family, but thanks to Dr. Rai and the compassionate ReSurge supporters who fund our work, Sushan got the care he deserved and the hope for a life of hope and promise.

“I realize that if he hadn’t been properly treated we would have had to amputate the hand. At the time we were really concerned because we knew the acute burn was serious.”

– Basanti, Sushan’s mother

After receiving skin grafts and a few surgeries, Sushan took about a month to recover and did weekly visits for physical therapy. Basanti was relieved, “Now he is a regular six-year-old, he likes school, playing with friends, drawing and one day he wants to become a doctor.”

11 million people are burned every year. In the developing world, where over 96% of fatal fire-related burns occur, Sushan’s story is all too common. Why? Poverty. Nearly half of the world still uses open flames for cooking, heating, or lighting. Women and children are at particular risk. Those who survive their burns are often permanently disabled, costing more than $4 billion per year in lost productivity.

ReSurge International’s mission is to help families like Basanti’s around the world by offering free reconstructive surgical care to patients in need, and by training the next generation of local surgeons like Dr. Rai. ReSurge doesn’t just treat burns, we also treat the full scope of reconstructive care for the child who fell into a cooking fire, the mother who was injured in a motorcycle accident, or the son who was born with a congenital anomaly like a cleft lip or a malignant condition like cancer.

At the end of the day, transforming the lives of our patients is what we are all about. We think Sushan is extremely brave, and can’t wait to see what he accomplishes in the future!

If you would like to help families like Sushan’s get the free reconstructive surgical care they deserve, make a donation today.

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