For two weeks in March, Drs. DiGregorio, Riina, Glickman and Davenport set out on a medical mission to Dehradun, India and Kathmandu, Nepal. The goals of the mission were “to establish a relationship with an existing medical facility in India, to provide burn care on an ongoing basis to patients who don’t have other means to seek treatment” and to conduct research on the state of care for burn victims, according to Dr. Riina.
“More people die of burns in India in a year than die of malaria and AIDS combined. It is a huge problem because people use open fires in their dwellings where children run around while their parents are out trying to make money to support their family. Children running around open fires with flowing saris presents a prescription for disaster,” explained Dr. DiGregorio. In India and Nepal, the doctors treated a myriad of burn victims. One case in particular was difficult for Dr. Riina, “A three year old girl was so badly burned that couldn’t walk or use her left arm. Her arm was pinned to her side. We released and reconstructed her arm and we released and reconstructed her leg. When she woke up from the anesthesia while she was in the twilight phase, she reached her hand up and touched her own cheek. I looked at Dr. Davenport and said, ‘She has not been able to do that since she was a month old.’” The goals of the mission surpassed everyone’s expectations but there remains much to be done. Many more trips are needed to treat the thousands of burn victims in India and Nepal who desperately need our help. Future medical missions are being planned for the fall of 2011 and 2012.
Mission: Restore provides life changing plastic and reconstructive surgery both globally and locally to children and adults in need. Mission: Restore organizes and funds volunteer medical missions to deliver expert plastic and reconstructive surgery to patients in need suffering from conditions such as burns, congenital deformities and facial and body trauma.
To learn more about LIPSG’s foundation, Mission: Restore, please visit http://missionrestore.org.
Photos From The Trip