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PATIENT STORIES

Meet Carly

Eight-year-old Carly is a bright and friendly young girl who enjoys activities such as rollerblading, running and cycling. Carly’s mom, Landal, describes her middle daughter as being slightly introverted, with a tremendously caring nature.

Lovely Carly suffered a terrible accident on 25 April 2016 whilst she was visiting one of her best friends who live close by in her neighbourhood. Her friend’s older sister was attempting to make a fire with paraffin when the substance was accidentally spilled onto Carly, resulting in her being engulfed in flames.

When Landal heard the horrific news she immediately called the ambulance and they went straight to the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital. At the Hospital Carly was admitted to the paediatric Intensive Care Unit (ICU) as she was critically injured, suffering from 60% burn injuries all over her little body. Landal was devastated when she heard what had happened to her little girl and at the time hoped that her daughter would survive the dreadful accident.

Carly was mostly burned on her arms, hands, legs and tummy, but especially on the left-hand side of her body. “She was burnt everywhere, but by the grace of God, she was not burned on her face at all.”

Mom and daughter spent a week in the ICU where the doctors did everything they could to keep Carly in a stable condition. “I have never been to an ICU before, but all I can say is thank you to everyone. I know that if she had gone anywhere else she would not be here today.”

Landal was delighted to learn that the upgraded ICU will be bigger with more dedicated space for the patients, as well as parents. “More space will be very good, I remember when Carly was in ICU it was hard, because we were told that we couldn’t stay by her side throughout the night.”

In early May Carly was transferred to the Burns Unit at the Hospital where she underwent various skin grafts, a procedure where skin is transplanted from another part of her body to the burned areas. “For about a month she looked like a ‘mummy’, lying down with bandages all over her except for her face, but as the skin graft healed the bandages came off,” Landal explains.

Carly started the burns rehabilitation process, which required daily work, soon after she was transferred to the Burns Unit at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital. Although it was difficult for both mom and daughter, together they persevered in order to get brave young Carly back on her feet. The process started with Carly starting to move various parts of her body, up to when she could walk by herself again, a great achievement after all that she had suffered.

For Landal, the doctors and nurses in the Burns unit played a key role in the rehabilitation process, because they were not only assisting Carly with important daily exercises, but also educating Landal at the same time to ensure that she and the rest of the family too could help her daughter going forward. “I didn’t once question them, they always kept me well informed – they are not just doctors and nurses, they are saints.”

As a result of the traumatic experience that Carly survived, she also saw a psychologist at the Hospital who has assisted in the rehabilitation process, but Landal is relieved that Carly has not been experiencing any form of depression.

The doctors in the Burns Unit are all pleasantly surprised at how well and fast Carly has healed and recovered. As a result, Carly was discharged from the Hospital after a miraculously short seven weeks. “I was prepared to stay for four or more months, but we could leave after seven weeks,” Landal explains.

Brave Carly is overjoyed to be back home with both her sisters where she will complete her recovery process. Apart from doing her prescribed daily exercises such as hand movements and walking, she has also been busy hosting her friends and enjoying her time with her family. For Landal, it has also been magical having her whole family together again under one roof. “I am so happy, we finally have our life back and we are so blessed to have her back.”

 

 

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