Learn about Khin’s story - Interplast

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Learn about Khin’s story

Find out more about Khin’s story, as told by Interplast volunteer nurse, Melissa Woods.

Htwe watched in horror as her three-year-old daughter, Khin, was burning.

“The fire spread to her entire body, I thought Khin had died,” she said.

Fires are a necessity for warmth and cooking in Myanmar, and sadly, many children are burned and scarred, with lifelong consequences.

Khin survived the ordeal, but her family could not afford the ongoing surgeries needed to prevent scar contractures, which is the severe tightening and hardening of the skin that has stopped Khin from walking or even standing up straight.

Your donation will help Khin, and others like her, receive the ongoing surgery they need to live their lives to the fullest.

Over the next five years since the incident, Htwe watched helplessly as Khin’s growing body battled with her worsening contractures. Her legs were fused tightly together, and the scarring across her abdomen pulled her body towards her legs.

Her pain and disfigurement were preventing her from attending school and engaging in normal community life.

“I prayed for a saviour; a miracle for my daughter,” Htwe said.

Interplast partners with Yangon General Hospital to provide life-changing reconstructive surgery. It was here that Khin experienced her first contracture surgery; an operation that released her deeply hardened skin.

Days after her surgery, Khin could stand up for the first time in five years.

“My wish for a miracle was fulfilled,” Khin’s mother said.

Khin’s operation was undertaken by local plastic surgeon, Dr Myitzu Win, who has been trained in Myanmar and Australia, through Interplast’s advanced surgical training program. In Myanmar, the visiting Interplast team provided support and guidance. Without this training, surgery of this complexity would not be available locally in Myanmar.

Khin wasn’t the only person to benefit from surgery that day. Interplast’s programs focus on providing hands-on training for local surgeons, anaesthetists and nurses, so they can continue to repair bodies and rebuild lives in their own communities for future generations.

Interplast volunteer and ward nurse, Melissa Woods, said contractures this severe were rare in Australia.

“If Khin had access to the same resources as Australian children, she would have been able to walk thanks to ongoing treatment including skin grafts and therapy,” she said.

“But as her body was immobile for so long, Khin will need multiple surgeries and intensive physiotherapy over many years to walk again.”

Thanks to the financial support from generous donors in Australia and New Zealand, not only can Khin stand up, but the local surgeons and nurses are better equipped to manage Khin’s ongoing treatment.

“Khin is in good hands at Yangon General Hospital,” Melissa said.

There are thousands of children and adults in the Asia Pacific region experiencing similar pain, disability and isolation caused by severe burns contractures. Interplast has the generosity of highly skilled health care professionals from Australia and New Zealand ready to volunteer and change their futures.

But we need your support to get them there. You too can be part of the change that is desperately needed by people just like Khin and her mother.

All donations over $2 are tax-deductible and will enable Interplast to continue sending volunteer medical teams to help repair bodies and rebuild lives in the Asia Pacific region.

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