It is Friday again, a day on which I write about one of our school children and show you a video along with it. On Friday, 26th December 2014 I told you that Monika’s first surgery had been successful. On Friday, 23rd January 2015 we picked her up from the guesthouse and brought her back to Vrindavan. Last Monday she was back to school! That’s how today I can write you that ‘stage one’ of Monika’s treatment has been completed.
I am still amazed by how quickly it was possible to help her – from the first time that I introduced Monika in my blog, to the day she had her surgery up to today, when she is back home again! I kept you updated anyway, so you know that everything was going well. The doctors kept her close-by, so that they could change her dressings regularly and finally, when her wounds were closed, they agreed that she could return to Vrindavan.
When we had visited her last time, the doctors had already removed the dressing above her eye. It is amazing to see the difference! Previously Monika could only roll her pupil up so that it could get moistened because the skin of the eyelid had molten, pulling the eye open at all times. She slept with open eyes, the right one worse than the left. Now, she is able to close the right eyelid completely. Blinking is possible, which means the eye doesn’t get so dry anymore – which previously caused her pain and made her lose sleep.
With each visit, we also saw that there was less bandage around Monika’s chest and neck. Two weeks ago, the doctors changed the dressing in front of my eyes and I saw that all the wounds of the surgery had closed. They had transplanted skin from her thigh to her chest and chin and the borders of these patches were now healed, joining the surrounding. Of course you can see the difference immediately: she has a chin again, not only an area of burnt skin that combines chin and neck! She can move her head again freely, without having to move her whole upper body!
For the next five months, Monika will need to wear a collar, keeping her chin up so that the skin remains flexible and doesn’t pull itself together again. Without the collar, it would take a few weeks and all the effort of the surgery would be wasted. So we already told Monika about this danger, making sure she understands that she absolutely needs to wear it.
Obviously, this girl is happy. A beginning has been made. And you know what? She even started to look into the mirror again! Previously afraid of her burnt appearance, she was curious and had the courage to look. She has come back to school, too. In this whole time, she actually only missed about one week of school, as the remaining time we had school holidays due to the cold! Now she sits and learns again with her classmates. Another step ahead.
Nevertheless, this was only stage one. In a conversation with Monika’s doctors, they recommended waiting for four or five months before beginning with stage two – the surgery for her second eye and her mouth. So that she can close both eyes and open her mouth completely. We are planning on doing that surgery in the summer holidays, so that she again misses as little school as possible!
Another step. You can help us helping Monika!