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Making an impact

BFIRST can really make an impact. Without our support the consequences can be devastating. Here are just two stories that highlight the need for specialist plastic surgery techniques in developing countries.

Joe, a 2-year old boy in rural Ghana

Joe was severely burned at the age of 2, resulting in deep burns to his leg. Local expertise and knowledge in burn care and surgical skill was not available.

The subsequent scar tissue resulted in the progressive inability to straighten his knees until he was only able to get around by crawling.

His family eventually brought him, travelling over several days, to a visiting team of plastic surgeons. They were able to release the tight scar tissue on the backs of his knees using skin flap techniques.

They also provided training to local surgeons in this technique to benefit many more patients in the future.

Awa, a 10-year old in Bamako, Mali

Awa suffered from severe wounds due to an electrical burn. She lost the flexor tendons on one hand while the other palm was badly burnt as well as losing toes on one foot.

She had some reconstructive surgery in Bamako, but came to Sierra Leone to have the rest of the reconstruction completed by volunteer surgeons.

Her palm was released and a tendon transfer meant she was able to get better thumb movement. She also had part of her toe amputated making it easier and less painful for her to walk. Both operations allow Awa to live a normal, healthy and active life.

Please help us provide much-needed reconstructive plastic surgery training for surgeons in the poorest parts of the world.