Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Aisha's Story

“700 each,” the taxi man said. That white tax almost cost both Lauren and me an extra 200 shillings for the ride. We hopped off at the top of the big hill on Entebbe road and up, up, up we climbed over the recently rained upon but not too slick dirt road. Sweat dripped down my back…and a few other places. Rain came down this morning for hours. Lauren commented that as soon as I wanted to go somewhere the sun would come out. Sure enough, the clouds cleared and the sun appeared…hot (yes, I got burned…again). I’m sure I looked to be a lovely sight by the time we reached the house.

Aisha is a young girl whose older sister set her on fire about four years ago. Lack of medical attention left her skin not only severely scarred but also grown back together in places it should not be. For example, under the arm the arm skin was attached to the ribs. The inside of the elbow was attached with skin like webbing. These two places specifically prevented any range of motion with her right side.

Sponsorship enabled Aisha to receive a first round of surgery and we’d checked on her during the September trip. Another visit was in order to ensure that Aisha was continuing her physical therapy and to determine the next steps in her recovery/reconstruction process.

The girl was at home when we arrived and her family welcomed us. Aisha was happy to remove her shirt to show the scars. The whole front of her body, chest and all, was burned. This young girl is starting to develop breasts, but on her right side the fatty tissue was too heavily scarred to allow the breast to form correctly. On the left side the breast was developing, but that small pocket of tissue was barely recognizable.

Physical therapy cost money the family didn’t have and was, therefore, not done following the initial surgery. We acknowledged the need for another visit to the doctor to determine next steps so that we can secure funding. In the mean time, some mobility had been regained and the girl seemed otherwise healthy, praise the Lord.