Written by: Dr. Dorothy Dy Ching Bing Agsaoay
From the Field: Manila, Philippines
In March, a team of volunteer medical educators from Sentara Norfolk Hospital in Norfolk, Va., deployed to the Philippines to lead hands-on workshops and provide training lectures at the country’s first burn care conference. Physicians for Peace-Philippines volunteer leader Dr. Dorothy Dy Ching Bing Agsaoay recently sent in an update on a special patient seen during that mission.
When the Physicians for Peace (US) team was here, we had Billy, a 15-year-old male with us. Billy had suffered electrical burns to 45% of his body. He came to us in February, 9 months post-burn, having been transferred to our care and admitted to the Burn Rehab Unit after surgery to graft his skin.
When Billy came to us, he couldn’t stand, walk or raise his arms due to shoulder, elbow, hip and knee contractures (painful shortening of a muscle or joint). He wasn’t able to use his right hand (his dominant hand) for daily activities... trying to do so was so painful that the effort caused him to shake.
We did intensive daily physical therapy and occupational therapy, together with splinting day and night, and weekly revision of the splints to improve his range of motion.
Billy is so motivated, and he wants to go back to school, hopefully this month (June). In spite of his injuries, we’ve been able to get him to stand and walk. I myself can’t believe his amazing change. He's totally transformed.