One day in mid-December, 6-year-old Xiasee strayed too close to a cooking fire at her home in Bokeo Province and the flames ignited her clothes. Her skirt was quickly extinguished, but the little girl suffered burns to her legs and lower abdomen.
The family tried to care for Xiasee’s burns, but could do little to help their daughter who was experiencing a great deal of pain. They rushed her to the Bokeo Province Hospital, but eventually brought her to Lao Friends Hospital for Children — about 10-12 hours away.
Our doctors and nurses recognized that Xiasee needed to be hospitalized – she had suffered second- and third-degree burns to roughly 12% of her body. They immediately administered morphine for her pain and cleaned and dressed her wounds.
Xiasee required frequent dressing changes over the next several weeks. She was sedated during these painful procedures and given intravenous doses of the antibiotic cefazolin to treat infections, which likely occurred because of the delay in getting her proper medical treatment.
After spending a month at LFHC, Xiasee’s burns had begun to heal, but it became clear that she needed a large skin graft – an operation beyond the capabilities of local physicians. LFHC transferred Xiasee to a hospital in Vientiane, where a specialist performed the skin graft with the help of a plastic surgery team from Interplast, an Australian nonprofit organization.
Xiasee returned to LFHC following her surgery and continues to receive care from the nurses and doctors who have been involved since her initial admission, as well as the hospital’s nutritionist, physiotherapist and outreach team. She is making an excellent recovery and the staff loves seeing her smiling again!