Earlier this year, ReSurge sent a team trip to Dehradun, India, where we have a Surgical Outreach Program run by Drs. Yogi and Kush Aeron. One of our former patients who visited the team in Dehradun during clinic day was Punkaj, and his story truly highlights the impact of reconstructive surgery on a patient’s life.
Punkaj was burned when he was 10 years old, after the gas stove he was using to heat up tea exploded. In 2007, ReSurge performed surgery on him to release the burn contracture on his neck. In 2009, Punkaj returned to have the contractures on his arms released. Punkaj wanted to be able to ride his bike to attend school and the contractures on his arms made it impossible for him to lift his arms high enough to reach the handlebars.
And in January, Punkaj returned to welcome our team and thank them for their help throughout the years. During his visit, our surgeons offered to do some revision work on his neck. Punkaj turned down this offer because he has school exams coming up.
When he was 14, Punkaj asked for surgery that would allow him to attend school like most boys his age. Now, because he is able to attend school, he has turned down surgery—a true testament of how Punkaj’s life and functionality have been restored. Punkaj’s priorities have shifted, and our surgeons were more than happy to oblige. Punkaj is currently in college and hopes to become an elementary school teacher one day. Thanks to the surgical care he received, he is very well on his way to a brighter future.
Punkaj is just one of many children and adults in India whose life has been transformed by the surgical care provided by our partners Dr. Yogi and Kush Aeron. We are thrilled that this father-son duo will join us on November 9 at our Transformations Gala in San Francisco to accept an award in recognition of their incredible work.
To hear more stories of inspiration and transformation from the Aerons themselves, be sure to get your tickets to the gala today!
Center photo by John Urban; right photo by Liliana Vazquez Giffen