At first sight, Mohammed, a 13-year-old boy from Bangladesh, appeared to be an amputee. When he arrived on crutches with his mother at the clinic in Cox's Bazar in the southern region of the country, the lower portion of his right leg could not be seen.
Mohammed was just seven years old when the accident occurred that left him on crutches. He was playing with friends near his home when he fell into a vat of tar that was being used to pave the road, severely burning his right leg.
After the accident he was taken to the local hospital, but the physicians there were not experienced in treating such severe burn injuries. As a result, the skin on his leg contracted, causing his calf to fuse to his thigh and ridding him of the ability to walk.
The Bangladeshi surgical team at the clinic run by Dr. Shafquat Hussain Khundkar, director of ReSurge's Surgical Outreach Program in Bangladesh, learned that ever since the accident, Mohammed had not been attending school and had resorted to begging because his family was not willing to support a disabled son for the rest of his life.
As the surgical team discussed how to treat Mohammed, they told his mother that she would have to promise to put him back in school if they were going to operate and help him walk again. She immediately agreed.
The surgery to release Mohammed's burn contracture was successful, and he is happy that he is now able straighten his right leg. While he will still need more surgeries and physical therapy to be able to walk without crutches, he is well on his way to returning to school and living a more productive life.
ReSurge's trip to Cox's Bazar was made possible with generous support from Eileen and Chris Sheldon and Rob Williams. Thanks to Rob's advocacy, nearly 50 people contributed approximately $20,000 to support the surgical trip.