Rotarian observer shares brave burns story of three-year-old Elizabeth - Interplast

Rotarian observer shares brave burns story of three-year-old Elizabeth

One day, three-year-old Elizabeth was playing near the kerosene-fired stove where a big pot of hot water was bubbling away at her home in Fiji. She tipped the pot of boiling water over and burned both of her arms. Thankfully the inner elbow joint on her left arm was unaffected and both her hands were still functional.

When Elizabeth wanted to pick something up with her right arm she had to bend with her whole body. At home, she was always dressed in long sleeved clothes to hide a severe burn contracture and avoid stares and teasing from others.

Elizabeth’s father brought her to Interplast’s clinic day in Lautoka. If left untreated, her thickened scar contracture would have tightened even more over time, further affecting the movement and function of her arm and body. This would limit her ability to look after herself, to find work or to care for others when she is older.

Elizabeth’s father said he looked forward to her being able to use her right arm properly.

“Before the burns she would run around with her arms out like a plane,” he said.

The surgical procedure took less than two hours. Elizabeth’s scar tissue was removed, and a graft taken from her thigh was attached. Her father was in tears when he saw Elizabeth’s arm bandaged but straight.

“She wants to be a pilot when she grows up, now she will be able to play that game again,” he said.

Thank you to Rotarian observer, Elizabeth Wright from New Zealand, District 9930, for capturing Elizabeth’s story.

rotarian observer liz wright

elizabeth's right arm

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.