The challenges our patients face are sometimes evident in the grief they carry in their eyes. This was the case with nine-year-old Anjali. She arrived to clinic day carried in her father’s arms. As soon as we saw the burn contracture on her right leg, we understood her sadness.
Anjali was terribly burned when she was a 21-day-old baby. Like most poor families in the developing world, her family uses open fires to stay warm during the winter months. One winter, the straw cot Anjali was sleeping on caught fire, leaving her severely injured at a very young age. The burn injury Anjali sustained on her right leg caused her skin to contract, leaving her unable to user her leg. Anjali has never been able to walk.
Our surgeons will be operating Anjali’s leg to release her contracture and the occupational therapist on our team will be casting her leg to immobilize it and ensure a successful surgery result.
After surgery, Anjali will be able to walk for the first time in her life. However, our greater hope is that, with time, that distinct child-like happiness returns in her eyes.