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Patient Stories


Our patients encompass a myriad of ages and backgrounds, but they share one thing in common: a vital need for reconstructive surgery that can change their lives.   We have already seen successful surgery and rehabilitation with many people, and we are eager to broaden our reach and provide hope for more patients.  



At the young age of four, Nitin’s mother tragically committed suicide.  His father was a chronic alcoholic, and Nitin often had to care for himself. After coming back from his school, he would have to collect dry leaves to burn and smoke away the mosquitoes in the room below his house.


One day, he noticed that there was moisture in the leaves, and the leaves weren’t burning properly.  He went up to his room to get the kerosene oil lamp he used as a source of light while studying.  Nitin poured some kerosene on the trash and lit the trash.  Unknowingly, he had spilled some kerosene on his pajama bottoms, and they caught fire.  He experienced many severe and painful burns on his left leg.


Initially, Nitin was treated by local doctors, but when he developed severe flexion contracture on the knee, he was referred to the state’s biggest medical school.  He was then referred to us.  He underwent three surgical procedures and now at age nine, Nitin is walking successfully.



In a Himalayan village, Kanishka Verma was burned as a toddler. She fell into boiling milk that was cooking on an open fire on the floor.  She was taken to a local care center, but she could not get the burn care she needed.  


Kanishka came to us when she was six years old, with one hand formed as a stump and the other so severely contracted she could not put her arm straight down.  She could not do normal everyday functions such as dressing herself, feeding herself or writing.


Through reconstructive surgery, her wrist was released allowing her to have full range of motion in her arm and one functioning hand with fingers.  


Now that Kanishka has a straightened arm, she can lift both arms over her head.  She also attends school and successfully takes care of her basic needs, such as getting dressed and eating.


From a very young age, Anjali would accompany her parents to the work site where they labored.  At the age of three, she accidently fell into open fire while playing along with other children.  She burned her right hand and was treated by unqualified village doctors. 


After her burn, Anjali developed severe contracture of her right hand, creating a claw-like, non-functioning hand.  Because of what her right hand looked like to others, Anjali said that she didn’t have any friends.


When she started school, Anjali had no choice but to write with her non-dominant left hand.   Her father recalls her performance at school being so bad that he and his wife were planning to withdraw her from school. They took Anjali to a plastic surgeon in a nearby town but could not afford the surgery.


When they became aware of the free reconstructive surgery for burn victims at Dehradun, they suddenly had hope.   After two surgeries, we are pleased to report that Anjali now has two functional hands, and she can write with her dominant right hand.


Her father says that since Anjali has been writing with her dominant hand, her performance has improved drastically in school.  He can tell that she is more confident and smiles more often.  Anjali says that she wants to become a burn nurse someday.

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