Friday, September 9, 2011

Update on Nyaka Student Justine

You may recall that we recently helped raise money for student “Justine” or Tina who had been burned terribly by a kerosene lantern to receive surgery at Boston Shriner’s Hospital.  We are so happy to report that she had another successful surgery earlier this month.  Upon her insistence :) they sedated her via a bubble-gum scented mask, and she fell asleep with her caretaker, Ruth, holding her hand prior to the surgery. According to the doctor, the surgery was more successful and an easier surgery than the previous one.   Dr. Lewis worked on 5 different sites on Tina's face: both cheeks, both sides of her nose, and between her upper left chin and mouth. He managed to do it all without any skin grafting. He called it "rearranging" and he was quite pleased with the results. He explained that he only grafts when there is no other option, as grafting is the main source of pain and delayed healing post-surgery.

 Tina's stylish new neck braces arrived while she was in the hospital, which pleased her much. The old ones were unattractive and hard to keep clean, two of Tina's peeves. She now has 2 purple and 2 black, with a zebra sewn in the front. All her choice. Purple, to match her Nyaka uniform and the zebra after Marty from the movie Madagascar.  Justine is healing slowly but steadily.  She's amazing; so brave and strong...a favorite at the hospital. Such a love.

As you can see from the picture of Justine swinging with her longtime pen pal Kate – she is enjoying her time between surgeries.   Thank you all for making Justine’s health so much better and her childhood brighter!