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Changing Lives Through Art

Art Team Visits Lacor Hospital’s Burn Unit

The Medical Missions Foundation (MMF) Art Team and Occupational Therapist, Amy, recently visited Lacor Hospital’s burn unit. The suffering the children there have experienced cannot be fully explained through words.

In Uganda it is easy for fires to happen because of the lack of access to electricity and dependency on fires. The peope of Uganda, therefore rely on fire to cook their meals, heat their water, and keep their home lit at night. As a result, more burns happen. Mission Coordinator, Abigail Hayo, said, “Since we’ve made burn prevention part of our mission, we have seen the number of severe burns go down.” Stop, drop, and roll teachings have made a huge impact in the local community. However, each year the team is still bound to see various traumatic cases. This year, several burn patients were operated on, emphasizing why it’s so important that Medical Missions continues to support this need through surgical care, physical therapy and art therapy.

MMF Aids Baby Saved from Religious Sacrifice

While I visited the Lacor Hospital Burn Unit on behalf of MMF, I had the sincere pleasure of meeting a baby of less than two years old. Edimon, an adorable little boy, was recently kidnapped from his home to be killed during a religious sacrificed. An acid was poured over the baby’s head, and he was cut in multiple places on his body, such as under his neck, on his stomach, and in his genital area. Edimon’s  largest scar exists on his stomach where a knife began to intrude his belly, just as he was found and saved.

When I first interacted with Edimon, he was quiet and had a solemn look on his little face. But, as I experimented with different art activities, in just hours he transformed from throwing crayons off his bed, to sitting and coloring practically using every color of the rainbow. Edimon made a huge impact on all of the volunteers who visited with him, and we hope that our time with him has made a positive impact on his recovery. For Edimon, coloring was not about drawing a picture, but rebuilding trust and helping him work through some of the emotions he was experiencing.

Dance and Art Helps Burned Children Utilize Muscles: Medical Missions Helps Brother & Sister Who Were Bound and Burned

Meet Marcy and Ivan. This brother and sister were bound together and lit on fire. The two surviving children are some of the bravest people I have ever met. Despite having burns all over their bodies, they symbolized hope. Marcy, has a spirit like no one else. Smiling at every silly face and glance at a different crayon color, she remains a happy child who unfortunately had to go through something no child ever should.

In addition to her beaming personality, she is determined and ready to challenge her bandaged body. During a dance party put on by MMF Volunteer and Occupational Therapist, Amy, Marcy showed us her best dance moves, bouncing her knees, twisting her burned torso, and punching to the beat of the 90’s song playing in the background. Something as simple as getting the burned children out of bed and up dancing, encourages them to utilize parts of their body that need to be exercised in order to enhance their chances of full recovery.

Ivan, Marcy’s brother on the other hand, initially seemed more upset about his situation. However, Bailey, a first-time volunteer, bonded with Ivan in unbelievable ways. Ivan went from not wanting to dance nor do activities, to making pinwheels with Bailey and using deep breaths to make his pinwheel spin in the air. By exercising his lungs, this activity was helping him expand his burn-covered chest. This year over 5,000 crayons were given away and over 500 pinwheels were made.

MMF Volunteer Connects with Teen Burn Patient

Another strong and brave person we met in the burn unit was Miss Flo. Flo suffered from burns all over her lips and hand. As learned from the MMF medical team, Flo had an epileptic seizure causing her to lose stability and fall face first into the hot fire. Art team volunteer, Pam, enjoyed reading stories to Flo. And during that time, it was evident that Pam brought Flo much joy, happiness, and entertainment. During our time with her, we also learned that she loved sunglasses, so I gave her a pair of my own. Below, Flo and Pam pose for photograph showcasing their cool looks. In the background, you can also see how the Art Team helped decorate the burn unit to make it a happier place.