Sunday, September 19, 2010

DeSales University 5k Walk/Race to Benefit Africa Burn Relief

The DeSales University PA Program Student Society will host it's second annual 5k Walk/Race to help raise funds for our program serving burn victims in rural Malawi, Africa.
Please consider joining us for an amazing Autumn day to support a great cause. I will be flying in from Malawi to support this event and raise awareness of the Africa Burn Relief Program in Pennsylvania communities.

Place: DeSales University; 2755 Station Ave, Center Valley, PA 18034
Time: Start 9am-registration, until about 12noon
Date: October 16th, Saturday
Price: 10$ Students/ 15$ non-students
Details: You can register and pay the day of the event at 9am. (cash/check)
A silent auction will accompany the race featuring handmade Malawian and Zimbabwean artworks. Credit card, check or cash accepted for the silent auction portion. Short presentation to follow.
For pre-registration details, please email me at

I deeply thank the DeSales University PA Program Society for organizing and supporting this event.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

In the Headlines...

September 3, 2010
A central Malawi newspaper, The Nation, reads; "Mother Recounts the Ordeal of Losing 2 Sons and Youngest Daughter" in what appeared to be a suicide ritual. The mother of the three ages 31, 27, and 16 perished after throwing themselves into a blazing fire outside of the parents home. Another child who initially survived, was taken to a Blantyre Hospital but later died of severe burns.
"The deaths followed three days and nights of continuous prayer to exorcise their parents of alleged witchcraft. One of the children undressed their 52 yr old mother and then attempted to throw her also in the fire, but she managed to escape. She and her husband fled the home running to neighbors for help. They returned just when the children were throwing themselves onto the fire, back first, hands clenching a Bible each. The tragic drama lasted for 5 hours." The mother stated, 'it hurts to recall the picture of my children jumping to their deaths. The loss of Annie, my youngest daughter, is the most painful out of the three because I know she was pushed. She was never part of the ritual.'

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A Farewell and a Blister...

It has been only 6 weeks since we admitted Tim and baby Victor. After 3 surgeries each, the brothers who won the hearts of everyone on the ward, will return to their far away village with their parents and go-go(grandmother). I can hardly believe it is time to let them go. I must admit, I was in shock when Victor survived in the early days after his burn, particularly with all odds against him when we discovered he was also suffering from malaria. He will have challenging days ahead of him, but luckily his parents are incredibly supportive and I believe they will make every effort to return for the physical therapy he requires.
Tim has done remarkably well. He has a contagious smile. Many of the kids fear when they see me, because they know their dressing will be changed, but Tim was always calm, polite and we could always get a smile out of him (quite abnormal for my patients!).
They both came to my mind when I reached into the oven for a pan without a proper oven mit the other day (yes, stupid!). This of course burned my hand and hurt like all heck. Nothing would stop the pain unless I had it in ice cold water. It hurt for hours, and eventually a less than one centimeter blister appeared. We've all done this...but that night I could not imagine the scene for this family when their only 2 sons suffered burns over 20% of their little bodies. The pain had to be absolutely unbearable for the hours it took for them to arrive to the hospital. I am so happy the family somehow made it to our hospital. If they would have landed at the hospital closest to them they would have been in a ward that does not provide wound care or specialized surgery. I think the family realizes this, they thanked me endlessly every day I visited and many times over on their farewell day.
If you are a donor, you should be proud, helping to build this program gave this family their kids back today.