We have just wrapped up a trip to Dehradun, India, where eight medical volunteers joined foces with our international medical partners, Drs. Yogi and Kush Aeron, to perform surgeries. Together, they completed 75 operations, forever changing the lives of 42 children and adults - the majority of whom had suffered terrible burn injuries.
One of the young adults we saw there was Anoop (pictured above), a familiar face to us, since we first met him in 2000.
When he was in 7th grade, Anoop was like any other young student with big ambitions, staying up late and studying hard to do well in school. His family didn't have electricity in their home, so he would study by the light of a kerosene lamp. One night, the lamp accidentally fell onto his bed, quickly igniting the fibers around him. He managed to escape with his life but sustained severe burns on his neck and hand.
Because of his burn injuries, Anoop began developing debilitating scar contractures on his neck and hand that would severely limit his ability to turn his head or use his hand. He was soon able to connect with Dr. Yogi Aeron, however, the director of our Surgical Outreach Program in Dehradun.
Yogi performed his first reconstructive surgical operation 14 years ago, and a visiting ReSurge volunteer team performed a second operation eight years later. This year, he returned to Yogi and Kush's hospital on clinic day, and we did surgery on his lower lip.
Now 26 years old, Anoop is still a student studying hard. Only this time he is studying amid the glow of a computer screen, with plans to become a computer engineer.
The story of Anoop's burn incident is sadly a familiar one. That is why ReSurge is working to not only restore health and hope to burn survivors, but to also bring attention to this neglected global health issue. To learn more, visit our website.