A lot of work has been done in recent years in developed nations to prevent household accidents that injure children. However in developing nations where most houses don’t have electricity and all the cooking is done outside on open fires there are few physical barriers to prevent a child from colliding with a hot pan on the fire.
Parents try and teach their kids to stay away and also keep an eye on them as much as possible, but they have so much to do there are always moments when they are not watching and in these circumstances it’s impossible to remove all the risks! Little Santa (her real name is Tsantaniaina but you can see why nobody calls her that), was burned in one of these terrible accidents and he family had no money to pay for the medical care she needed and so as her burns healed the skin contracted restricting the use of her neck.
All hope of recovering proper movement of her neck had all but been lost when Santa attended a screening day run by the ships medical team and she was selected for surgery.
Her mum put on a brave face but deep inside she felt terribly guilty for allowing the accident to happen and when Santa was taken off to the operating theatre her mum just broke down and wept. One of the nurses sat down on the bed beside her and just hugged her while she let some of those bottled up emotions.
After the surgery the emotional healing for her mum was just as important as the physical healing for Santa and as the days went by on the ward other patients and their families helped Santa’s mum to understand that it wasn’t her fault. The strong bond between mother and daughter was evident as Santa recovered on the ward.
Noel a ward nurse from the US had quite a job getting Santa to take her pain medication. The healing process can be quite painful and because Santa didn’t want to take her medicine Noel had to hide it in her food. One day Noel slipped some into a sandwich and gave it to her mum to give her, but as she first bit, right where the medicine was hidden, she noticed the flavour immediately and spat out the sandwich and proceeded to search the ward for Noel to shake her finger at her for trying to trick her.
Two months later Santa was finally discharged from the hospital on board the Afrcia Mercy and now has full movement of her neck again. Her mum has also found a new peace after learning that the accident was not her fault and knowing that her daughter would now have a much brighter future!