Lao "Friends" Save a Young Girl's Life


Maijua Wa and her physical therapist
Maijua Wa and her physical therapist, Sengdeuane Phommy, practice effective crutch usage in front of the Lao Friends Hospital for Children.

Twelve-year-old Maijua Wa was admitted to the Lao Friends Hospital for Children (LFHC) for chronic burns from a gas explosion she had sustained five months earlier. On the advice of a traditional healer, the family had applied a poultice of burned goat dung, and kept Maijua on strict bedrest and severe dietary restriction (almost starvation) since the accident. By the time she entered the hospital, her wounds were not even healing, and she was severely malnourished.


In the past several months, Maijua has received intensive medical and wound care at LFHC, and underwent a skin graft operation. Maijua also receives intensive physical therapy, including gradual strengthening, range of motion exercises, conditioning, and gait training with parallel bars and crutches. She also has daily lessons and recreational activities with the child life therapist, and has been learning to read, write, and speak Lao. Under close watch of the hospital’s nutritionist, Maijua is gaining weight steadily.


Despite their initial reluctance Maijua’s family has been extremely involved in her care and rehabilitation, and is a wonderful asset and inspiration for her success. Maijua now uses crutches to get around, has dramatically improved her range of motion, and is, at long last, healing. LFHC hopes to collaborate with the provincial rehabilitation center to help Maijua with an orthotic solution to improve her gait. Recently, she and her family were able to go home for a few days on a temporary leave, and returned for a few weeks of continued care and discharge planning. Maijua and her family are very grateful to both World Education’s TEAM project and LFHC for their unwavering care and support!