I have just returned from a weekend in Delhi. In Gurgaon, to be exact, where the hospital is where Monika is being treated. You will remember Monika, the girl who was burnt badly by an accident. You can read my blog posts about her here. On Saturday, her second surgery was successfully completed!
I had told you about the success of Monika’s first surgery. She stayed for one week in the hospital after surgery and then for one month in a near-by guesthouse because she had to go every second day for changing her bandage.
After that she came back to Vrindavan and joined school again. It was perfect timing – she had been gone for the winter holidays, only a few days more and didn't miss much in school!
She has recovered well but has to wear a collar on the front to keep the neck straight, so that the inserted skin remains stretched and doesn't pull itself together again. She applies oil to the burnt skin and the patches several times a day and her mother massages her skin daily as well.
After the final exams of the school year were over, we took Monika to see her doctor again. He had called her last month for another checkup to see how the patched skin is recovering. The doctors were happy to see her and asked her what had changed before and after surgery. She replied that she had not been able to move her neck before, that she had to keep her chin always down – and now she could do both, turn her head to both sides and up and down as well. It was a beautiful moment.
In that time we also planned for the next surgery. He suggested doing it in May – and we agreed, as it would be summer holidays. She would be able to have her surgery and recover without her learning being disturbed any further. Additionally, it would be the hottest time of the year and she would be able to spend that time in air-conditioned rooms! At their home, they only have a fan and when there is a power cut, not even that! Obviously, for Monika the heat is always painful!
After examining the state of the grafted area and her further scars, the doctor asked her what she found most important of the three works which are left for functionality – left eye, mouth and her right arm. She replied that she would like to be able to lift her arm further than the about 90 degrees that she can lift it now.
The doctor replied that he thought the eye was important, too, so he would like to combine these two in one surgery: the work on the left eye, so that she can close the eyelid and the release of the right arm.
The doctor explained that after the surgery, the arm would need to be kept in a frame to keep the grafted skin from pulling itself together, just as it was done with the neck and the collar. That's how Monika will have to stay a few more days in hospital this time and then again, just like last time, she will have to stay in a guesthouse close-by the hospital for regular checkups and change of dressings.
Tomorrow I will tell you more about the surgery and our weekend.
If you would like to support Monika, her treatment and recovery, you can read more and donate here. Thank you!