Bakhita is a 13-year-old girl whose name means “Blessing.” She came to Mother of Mercy Hospital, a referral hospital supported by Sudan Relief Fund, which is the only facility of its kind for hundreds of miles with the resources to provide high-level critical care – the kind that Bakhita urgently needed.
Bakhita had been the victim of a house fire, and suffered massive burn injuries. With partial and full thickness burns covering over 80% of her body, the staff at Mother of Mercy Hospital held little hope that Bakhita could survive. Nevertheless, they went into action immediately.
One of the greatest concerns with burn injuries is the danger of infection, since the skin’s protective barrier has been completely taken away. Bacterial infections can spread to the bloodstream, becoming septic and deadly. Victims can also go into shock. One of the most grueling recoveries, burn victims endure a long road to healing.
Bakhita went through many operations to remove destroyed skin and tissue. After several months of cleaning, she was ready to begin the process of skin grafting. It took three separate skin surgeries to cover all the burned areas on Bakhita’s body. Even so, the surgeries were a success. Miraculously, she walked out of the hospital with completely intact skin six months later.
Missionary Dr. Tom Catena, the sole surgeon at Mother of Mercy Hospital, credits the dedicated staff and their round the clock care for Bakhita’s recovery, noting how they never gave up on her during those months.
It requires extensive resources in personnel and medical supplies to treat a patient with such severe burns, and Mother of Mercy Hospital is the only facility equipped in this manner in the entire region. Without Sudan Relief Fund and their faithful donors, patients like Bakhita would have nowhere to go for this lifesaving treatment. Because of the support, girls like Bakhita can have this help and this hope.
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