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Ibarra, Ecuador

Claudia

Clauda – Pre -op burn ear and missing hair

Claudia 2

Claudia – Immediately Post op with first-stage ear reconstruction and hairline reconstruction

Ibarra, Ecuador  July 13, 2013

Claudia is a 4 year old quiet and “shell-shocked” Columbian girl that we performed a lengthy burn reconstruction of her scalp and reconstructed her left ear.  Her infancy was normal but as is all too often the case she had a devastating burn when she was 2 years old. Typical of most of developing countries, open fires and low lying stoves are means for cooking.  Her mom was deep frying, typical of many preparations, when her mother turned away to check on her newborn son. Her two year old daughter reached up and the scalding oil fell on to her left face, scalp and ear. Per her mom, Claudia hasn’t spoken or smiled since then. Not being able to afford distant medical and not having available surgical care the full thickness burns eventually healed with significant deformity: curled her ear to a remnant and left her with large burn scared bald left scalp.

When mom heard that Rostros Felices and Plasticos Foundation were coming to Ibarra to help children like her daughter, they travelled 12 hours on public busses form Ipiales, Columbia to have the opportunity for reconstructive surgery. Although being examined by strangers, staying in a hospital and being brought to the Operating Room is scary; she remained stoic and silent – even when being put under anesthesia. It is heartbreaking to think how traumatized she was by her experience. One can only hope that this surgery has the potential to heal more than just her flesh.

 

Larry Nichter, MD

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