Lao Friends Hospital for Children (LFHC): Marijua Wa’s Story

Marijua Wa (12-years-old) was admitted to the Lao Friends Hospital for Children (LFHC) for chronic burns from a gas explosion that had been sustained 5 months earlier. At the advice of a traditional healer, the family had applied a poultice of burned goat dung, and kept her on strict bedrest and severe dietary restriction (almost starvation) since the time of the accident.

By the time she entered the hospital 5 months later, her wounds were still not healing, and she was severely malnourished and extremely deconditioned. Over several months, she has required intensive medical and wound care at LFHC, and also underwent a skin graft operation which was performed at the LPPH. During this time, she has received intensive physical therapy, including gradual strengthening, range of motion exercise, mobilization, conditioning, and gait training with parallel bars and then crutches. She has also received daily school lessons and recreational activities with our child life therapist, and has been learning to read, write and speak Lao. She has been followed closely by our nutritionist, and has been steadily gaining weight since her admission.

Her family have been extremely involved in her care and rehabilitation, and have been an incredible asset and inspiration for her success. She is now ambulating safely with crutches, has dramatically improved her range of motion, and her wounds and skin grafts are healing well. LFHC is hoping to collaborate with the Provincial Rehabilitation Center to provide her with an orthotic solution to improve her gait. Recently, she and her family were able to go home for a few days on a temporary leave, and have now returned for a few weeks of continued care and discharge planning. Marijua Wa and her family are very grateful to both World Education’s TEAM project and LFHC for their unwavering care and support!

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