SEATTLE, Aug. 23, 2004 -- An 8-year-old girl from a home for underprivileged children in Kathmandu, Nepal, Sushila K.C., who fell into a cooking fire at the age of 3 and burned nearly one-third of her body, came to Swedish/First Hill this morning for the first of at least three plastic surgeries she will need.
The surgery, which was performed by Seattle hand and plastic surgeon Alfred Blue, M.D., took about two hours.
According to Dr. Blue, this first surgical procedure was the primary or beginning revision (excision and relief) of scars on her arm and abdomen. "I'm pleased with the outcome of this initial surgery and am optimistic that it's the first step to a more normal life for this young girl."
Dr. Blue expects Sushila's second surgery to be in three to six weeks.
After more than eight months of planning by local real-estate agent, Lorna Arnold, and the Ama Foundation, Sushila arrived in Seattle July 22 for the extensive plastic surgery -- a process expected to take at least three months before she is able to return home to her native country.
The skin on her entire right torso is now unable to expand or grow with her because of deep scaring. This is causing abnormal growth development as the left side of her torso develops normally. As a result, her right shoulder is being held lower by the scarred tissue -- and the longer this condition exists, the more serious it will become. While this condition can be routinely addressed with corrective surgery, this type of procedure is not available to Sushila in Nepal.
Dr. Blue is donating his time and expertise and Swedish is donating all the other health-care services Sushila will need.
For more information about the Ama Foundation, visit www.ama-foundation.org or call their Seattle Chapter contact, Jennifer Bennett, at 206-459-6995.