Burn Care International

     Last Monday, Nick and I visited the Burn Clinic that Burn Care International has here in Cochabamba, Bolivia.  Please CLICK HERE to read a more detailed explanation of how BCI was founded, what the ministry does, what the clinic and patients look like, etc.

One of the entrances to Hospital Viedma.

    Every hospital in the USA (at least that I've ever been to) has been VERY clean and sanitized and offered kids play areas, food, coffee, music, gift shops, good parking, heating and air, etc...can you imagine if you were sick or injured and had to go to and stay in a hospital that looks like this?  Or have your child play on this playground below?  Although these conditions may not look good, BCI is an amazing ministry and changes lives here and in developing countries around the world!!!  No patient is turned away and all receive treatment with Pressure Garments and Suits, when needed.  Financial supporters like you and me are what keeps this Burn Clinic open!!!

     When someone has some type of trauma and they need their skin to heal properly, it can sometimes be a difference of life...or barely living.  Many people don't have good healthcare and never receive treatment.  Because of this, they grow new skin that actually takes over.  The skin is a very strong organ and can pull a person body into positions that causes them to become handicapped for the rest of their lives!  Having terrible, visible scars is bad enough...but what about the type of scars that grow and twist your body until you can't turn or lift your head or use your limbs???  The Pressure Garments and Suits that are sewn at the burn clinic are vital in helping skin heal correctly, smooth and flat so that these patients can lead normal lives after their accidents.  BCI doesn't just provide Pressure Garments and Suits...they provide a better life for these patients!!!

The Kids Play Area at Hospital Viedma.

     Today, Maria put me to work!!!  I got to sit at one of the sewing machines and help her sew a little pair of pants for a child's Pressure Garment.  Let me tell you...I was SUPER slow, but it was fun getting to help out and Maria actually used what I sewed!!!

Helping with the Sewing
     As I was sewing, the patients started showing up.  This 1-year-old baby girl is named Marilu.  She was burned on December 9th by hot water while she was at home.  She was so terrified, while in the Burn Clinic, that she screamed the entire time.  The mother tried to soothe her by nursing her.  However, each time we got near her, she screamed so much that she would choke and throw up.  It was hard to watch because the mother was upset about her baby being burned and the baby wouldn't calm down.

Marilu's burns
     Here is the mother, trying to hold Marilu still, so that Juana can zip up her new Pressure Garment.  

Marilou trying on her new Pressure Garment

     Here is Marilu with her new Pressure Garment.  She was mainly burned on her chest and neck, so the Pressure Garment only had to cover a very small area.  The chest is a difficult place to heal scars because it is tricky to get the right amount of pressure and tightness.  Maria and Juana added extra sponge and material for additional  pressure on Marilu's chest.

Marilu in her new Pressure Garment
     Strollers aren't a popular thing around here for the typical country women...they use these colorful blankets to hold their babies on their backs all day...while they take care of the home, roam the city, work, etc.  The babies are always sitting there, with their little heads popped out watching the world go by :)  See Nick sitting back there in the Sewing Room?  Marilu immediately quit crying once her mom threw her over her back and strapped her in...she knew that it meant it was time to go and she couldn't wait to get out of the Burn Clinic!

Marilu is ready to get out of here!!!

     Remember last week when we visited the Burn Clinic and we met a little patient named Emily?  Well, Emily was released that same day and has been home for a week.  She returned with her mom to try on and take home her new Pressure Garments.  Just like last week, Emily was all smiles, happy and jumped up on the table to get ready for her appointment.  See what hot water did to her poor little back, shoulders and chest?

Emily's burns
     Each time I asked her to pose for a photo, she happily did!  Here she is with her new Pressure Garment!  She doesn't need pants because she was only burned above the waist.  She will have to wear this 24/7, except for when bathing, for several years!!!  It's a good thing that she has such a great little attitude.

Emily in her new Pressure Garment

     Although BCI mainly deals with burn victims, sometimes they have patients who weren't burned.  Some women come for help with their c-section scar, some people come for help with scars left from car accidents, etc...it's not only burns that leave ugly, uncomfortable scars on a person's body.  This little girl below is named Sheila.  She is 7-years-old and was hurt on December 2nd.  She was at home, in her kitchen, trying to make some juice for herself and her family.  As she was juicing the carrots, she used her hand to push them down, instead of the juicers hand piece.  The machine not only juiced the carrots, but also her fingers!  This photo below actually doesn't do her fingers justice...they were so awful looking, I had a hard time taking this photo.

Sheila's hurt fingers
     She is currently receiving treatment in the physical therapy area of the hospital because she is not able to bend her fingers...those three fingers are all stuck out at awkward angles because it hurts her too much to move them.  Even though she was not burned, this is something that a Pressure Garment can help!  Maria took a few measurements of Sheila's hand and then drew an outline on a piece of paper.  Sheila will come back in two days to receive her Pressure Garment (a glove).  She will have to wear the glove 24/7, except for when bathing. 

Sheila getting measured for her Pressure Garment

These children need OUR help.  

In the USA and in other countries around the world, there is great heath care...however, this
is not the case in every part of the world!!!  Look at the conditions of this hospital, this play ground, the Burn Clinic's tiny two room area...help us make sure that these patients get the treatment that they need in a safe and clean environment!!!

     By supporting BCI, you will be providing material, thread, zippers and foam for the Pressure Garments and Suits, silicon for the difficult scars, essential oils and creams for itching skin, salaries for Juana and Maria and basic supplies for the Burn Clinic.  

     Please CLICK HERE to visit BCI's website to learn more about our important ministry.

-You can DONATE ONLINE by scrolling to the bottom of the website, click the "DONATE" button.  -Or you can MAIL A CHECK to:
Burn Care International
419 Woodland Drive
Florence, SC 29501

  All donations are tax-deductible and will change someone's life...

Please GIVE a Child a Chance!!!

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