According to the World Health Organization (WHO), today, 5 billion people do not have access to safe, affordable, and timely surgical care. In times of disaster and emergency, medical health care workers are essential. Unfortunately, in many parts of the world, trained healthcare workers are either nonexistent or access to medical help is extremely limited. As a result, ReSurge International is dedicated to training the next generation of healthcare workers through their specialized curriculum and hands-on training programs.
ReSurge surgical teams travel the world performing life-saving and life-altering surgeries on children from infancy on. Chandra, age 21, lives in Nepal. When she was a young child, she fell into the cooking fire in her home. She suffered burns along the entire right side of her body. As her body healed, the scars prevented her from lifting her arms more than halfway over her head. She was concerned no one would want to marry her, disfigured as she was, and went to ReSurge for reconstructive surgery. Chandra’s surgery was both physically and psychologically transforming. She states, “Before I was embarrassed, but now I feel just like every other person. I can live a normal life now and that I am thankful for.”
Surrenda is age 29 and sells cooking gas to earn a living. In 2016, a gas canister he was repairing exploded, burning 20% of his body. He had burns on his face and deep burns across his arms. He ran into the street for assistance and no one would help him – not even the police who “told me to get my own ride to the hospital.” Eventually, he found someone who got him to The Nepal Cleft & Burn Center several hours after the explosion. With doctors trained and supervised via satellite linkage with ReSurge, Surrenda received extensive wound care, therapy, and skin grafting. Surrenda will be able to return to work and support his wife and three-year-old son. “Once I am well enough to work I will go back to my job. My family and I have invested too much in this business. It is our livelihood. I have no choice.”
In 1990, ReSurge International expanded into Southeast Asia, opening clinics in Cambodia and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. As a result of this work, patients are able to feed themselves, write, attend school and provide for their families. Thuy, age 9, was not able to lift her arms after being badly burned by an accident with the family cooking fire. After her surgical procedures and therapy, Thuy can now move her arms. “I can write! I can draw pictures of Elsa, my favorite Disney Princess!” Xan, age 4, suffered severe hand burns in an electrical accident in Cambodia. After his surgery, he was again able to play with the other boys in his class.
Meet Dr. Puri. For over 20 years she has volunteered in various ReSurge surgical camps. Currently, she serves as the medical director for Camp Karma, a burn survivor camp for children – the only one in India. Dr. Puri is also the Medical Director for ReSurge in India. She heads the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital in Mumbai. One of her colleagues said of her, “Anyone fortunate enough to work with her will find her love of plastic surgery and her commitment to improving the lives of others truly inspiring.”
Surgically treatable conditions kill 17 million people each year. That’s more than tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV/AIDS combined. There are several reasons thousands of mothers, fathers, sons and daughters suffer and die from lack of access to surgical care every day. Many decision-makers incorrectly assume that surgery is too expensive and too complicated. ReSurge is dedicated to changing these perceptions and to ensuring that access to surgical care is available to everyone. They do this through their surgical camps and their training of local doctors to carry on the work. With innovative satellite hook-ups and technology they are able to consult with doctors on the ground and assist with difficult operations.
Barco’s Nightingales Foundation is a proud partner with ReSurge International and we are constantly amazed at the innovations and development for which they are responsible. You can financially support ReSurge by going to http://barcosnightingales.org/donate/.
~Michael and Frida Donner