The Real Impact of Surgery | Luis Fernando

On a trip to Ecuador in 2012, we met five-year-old Luis Fernando. Two years prior, he had been terribly burned after falling into a pot of boiling broth, severely burning his entire right arm and hand.

Local healthcare providers were unable to provide adequate care for his burns. As a result, Luis Fernando developed debilitating burn contractures—his thumb pulled down and attached his hand to his forearm, and his arm was fused to his body, making it impossible for him to use. 

But Dr. Jorge Palacios, ReSurge’s Surgical Outreach Program director in Ecuador, was able to surgically repair the contractures on his armpit and elbow in 2012 to release his arm from his torso. Unable to repair everything at once, he was able to see Luis Fernando again in early 2014 to repair the contracture on his hand. The surgery and carefully planned physical therapy through ReSurge returned Luis Fernando’s ability to use his arm freely.

He is now able to play with his friends without pain or restriction. Today, Luis Fernando is in school, where Dr. Palacios says he is “a star.” The local medical team will stay in touch and provide the care he needs to keep improving.

Your support provides real, lasting impact for children just like Luis Fernando. ReSurge continues its work in 15 developing countries, including Ecuador, and builds year-round surgical access by training local medical professionals and providing surgical care.