** Today is a continuation of yesterday's post regarding the work being done by the Plasticos Foundation. **
Pretend for a moment … you are a 19 year old girl. You're beautiful. You live in India and it's your wedding day.
Your wedding day!
You're on top of the world and your heart is filled with joy.
On your wedding night your dowry is delivered to your new father-in-law.
Your father-in-law receives your dowry and realizes it's not enough for him to buy the new motorcycle he covets. He erupts in anger. In his rage, he throws acid on your face. The acid sears your skin – melting it, if you will. From the mouth down your beauty is destroyed. You can no longer bend your neck due to burn contractures.
You've been maimed for life.
Your father-in-law goes to jail for thirty days, bribes an official, and is released.
You live disfigured and in shame. One day you hear a team of American doctors are volunteering their time to come to India. For the first time, you dare to hope your body might be restored, at least in part. You are selected out of hundreds of people hoping to be aided by the doctors.
This story is only one of many touching stories from India. When the Plasticos Foundation traveled there, they were surprised by the number of burn victims they saw. Some of the patients had been burned accidentally by kerosene lamps or cooking accidents. Many were the victims of horrific domestic abuse.
Their stories, their injuries, are unforgettable. Here are just a couple photos to give you an idea of the shocking cases Plasticos found waiting for them. I know these photos are unpleasant to look at, but that's exactly why it's so important we do look at them.
In addition to many burn victims there were also children suffering from birth defects. Children with fingers that were fused together preventing them from being used. Children with arms that did not work or cleft lips and/or cleft palates and other deformities.
The local doctors did not have the training to help these people. The patients did not have enough money even if the doctors had been trained.
The Plasticos Foundation performed over 80 surgeries at no cost to the patients and trained the local doctors while they were at it.
The training of local doctors allows hundreds, if not thousands, more patients to be helped after Plasticos has departed.
What did receiving this help mean to these people? Here are a few pictures of patients shortly after surgery.
I could write post after post about the Plasticos Foundation. Every patient is another story waiting to be told. My heart has been touched deeply by what this organization is doing. I hope your heart has been touched too by reading about their wonderful work.
If you feel so inclined, you can make a donation to Plasticos using the Donate button on their website. I have, why don't you?
© Twenty Four At Heart