Phan Thao, a 3-year-old child with third degree burns on 80 percent of her body arrived on the USNS Mercy while it was docked off the coast of Vietnam.
The Pacific Partnership 2012 medical team, including Project HOPE volunteers, have treated the young child with specialized laser surgery, physical therapy and follow-up care. Each day, Thao’s recovery looks brighter and brighter. Watch the video at right to learn more.
“Marybeth (Wargo) and I took care of Thao today, working with her to make sure her burns remained clean and dry,” says Lauren Deming, a Nurse from Orem, Utah. “We used a special solution. The whole process takes about a half an hour. Thao’s mother was very helpful, helping keep little calm while we tended to the burns.”
Marybeth Wargo a Pediatric Nurse from Austin, Texas, added, “Thao’s burns actually occurred four months ago and it was a very unique experience caring for a burn victim 4-months out. The laser surgery has given her dramatic improvement to her range of motion and quality of life.”
Thao is also undergoing physical therapy which is helping her learn to reuse muscles and walk around again, which before the surgery, caused her too much pain.
"It was a great day. Thao she gave me a kiss and a hug," says Wargo. "She was also given necklaces by our division officer, and Thao spent the day handing them out to all the staff members on the ward.”
In addition, Thao is also known for visiting with the other children and handing out stickers.
“She is a very brave girl,” Wargo says. “Her wonderful spirit and upbeat attitude fills the ward."
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