La Paz, Bolivia -- Jennifer Scroggins, assistant director of communications
When you meet Jonathan, you quickly realize he has more cares than a typical 6-year-old should. He has a large burn scar contracture all down his right arm and chest, and he is incredibly tender with it, constantly worrying that something will bump into it or that he will hurt it again.
At the age of three, Jonathan was playing in his house under his aunt's care while his mom was away from home. His aunt was boiling water on the stove, and Jonathan accidentally bumped into the stove, knocking the pot of boiling water on top of him. His right arm and chest were terribly burned, and although he was taken to a nearby hospital, the doctors there only cleaned and bandaged the wounds. As a result, the burned skin contracted, ridding him of the ability to raise or straighten his arm.
Jonathan's mother, Roxanna, says that her son used to play soccer and other activities, but since his accident he has been so worried about hurting his arm further that he stopped playing or doing anything that seemed risky. She brought Jonathan to see our surgical team because she wants him to be able to use his arm and to not be afraid of playing or doing the things kids normally do.
Our wonderful volunteer surgical team worked with Dr. Jorge Terrazas, our medical partner here, to release the contractures on Jonathan's elbow and armpit last week, and he is doing great. Tom Taylor, our volunteer hand therapist, made a splint for his arm and told his mom what therapeutic exercises he can do to strengthen his arm.
Just a couple of days after his surgery, he was already lifting his arm straight up in the air like a champ. Jonathan Rausky, our volunteer plastic surgeon, told him and his mother that now he can even grow up to be a basketball player if we wants to!
Photos by Darcy Padilla