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Is There Hope For This Child? – Angola Day 12

Burned Boy Lubango


This morning a father arrived at the hospital in Angola with his son, Josifas, whose photo I took with his permission. This boy of eleven was leaning over a cooking fire, when his shirt erupted into flames. Living in the bush, his family simply covered the wound with strips of cloth, linen that became stuck to the wound such that it could not be removed. The results of these tight contractions of skin are that he cannot close his mouth and is speech is indiscernible.


Is there hope for Josifas? Indeed. We will give him an anesthetic, release the contacted skin with multiple incisions, and place skin grafts over the newly exposed tissue. After the skin grafts are well attached, he’ll begin physical therapy to increase the motion of his neck and mouth. Three or four months from now Josifas, with lots of courage and coaxing, will be speaking and swallowing and even looking more like a healthy child.

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