I am back from my second visit to Tanzania and feel very hopeful about the future of their burn program. There are so many dedicated and hard working staff that I have grown to love and admire and I look forward to visiting them again next month. This group here are the future faces of a successful program - Jackson, PT, Mwanahamisi, RN, and Ester, Burn Rehab Director. It is only through their vision and hard work that progress is being made. I am super proud of this team and can not wait to see what happens in the future there.
When you support the work of BCI, you are investing in future burn victims who will have the opportunity to receive a true rehabilitation program to heal properly. While there are so many variables that come into play as the skin heals, specific things that can be taught; proper skin grafting, frequent dressing changes, supplemental nutrition, proper positioning, aggressive physical therapy, and custom made pressure garments are some of the main aspecits. When these areas are weak, potential for poor results increase. However, when each area is done properly, potential for a good outcome is normal.
Patients can suffer from so many complications and the process can last anywhere from 12 - 24 months so patience and consistent hard work are a major part of healing. One negative complication is when a patient develops one or more contractures. Contractures, (photo left) are the norm in most countries. Contractures occur when the burn scar matures, thickens, and tightens, preventing movement. This can become permanent. But with education and hard work, they are generally 100% preventable. Money and resources help but education and knowledge are the key to improved burn healing!!
This precious little boy has lots of old burn scars and a small contracture on his neck - he is in the hospital to have a surgical release done on his neck. He is the sweetest and funniest little one, full of life and unconcerned about all of his scars. He greeted us each day practicing his English and following us around - especially Noah and his camera. I can only pray that as he grows older he will continue to be unconcerned about all his scars and just love life as he does now!
Thank you for taking the time to keep up with what is happening in BCI, it is sincerely a blessing knowing that so many of you love and support this work.
Every trip I take usually ends up with an "eventful" story! Since I travel alone it generally is something that happens to me - like when I arrived in Conakry, Guinea in West Africa to the Africa Mercy Ship- Enroute to the ship, in the dark, late at night, the driver from the hotel I booked was stopped by the police, arrested and the car was towed. I was standing on the side of the road with my suitcases smiling at a huge crowd of curious new "friends" thinking "no one will believe this one". I texted Wick, shocked that my phone worked for once, and he said CINDY - CAN YOU FIND A POLICEMAN? Ha Ha That was the LAST thing I needed!!! Before it worked out and the police let the driver take me in.a taxi to the hotel, I held up a picture of the Mercy Ship with my best hand signals and the BOSS LADY of the group started grinning and pointing to her eyes. Years earlier she had cataracts removed on the ship - It is a very small world even on the side of the road in Guinea. God has shown me protection in so many ways and he always makes sure I am able to see HIS hand in it all.
Today's story, for once, does not directly involve me, even though I probably lost a few years from it. On Friday night at midnight, Juana, Maria, and I were to fly from Addis Ababa to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. We had planned that Aminat would join us at the airport in Addis and fly with us to Tanzania. At about 10:00 I began to worry because she had not shown up. I could not reach her by phone so I texted Wick to try to call her. She finally answered and said her flight was the next day. NO, NO, NO I said, you are getting confused with am and pm. The flight is right now at 12:10 am thinking she thought it was noon. I doubted if she could make it with traffic and distance but I said to hurry, don't worry about packing, just bring her passport and come now. Later I found out that she was right, her ticket had been reserved for the following night at 12:10 am and she was not joining us. No one knows how that happened The next day she got on the midnight flight to Tanzania.
But, I had no way to get her from the airport at 3:40 am. Thankfully the owner of the airbnb was kind enough to line up a driver to pick her up. I set my alarm for 3:00 and waited - 4:00, 5:00, 6:00 - no word from her and the airbnb could not contact the driver. She finally called me from a borrowed phone to say no one picked her up. She was waiting at the airport and did not know what to do. The airbnb contact talked to the man from the borrowed phone, a taxi driver, and he agreed to bring her to the apartment. One hour later she had not arrived............it was a fifteen minute trip. Pendo from the airbnb had now come to the apartment and we were down the road in front of a hotel in case she was lost. He was sick with worry. - the driver would not answer the phone and we had no idea where she was. Finally, the driver answered and they had spent the hour fixing a flat tire on the side of the road and did not hear the phone. At 7:00 they drove up - Pendo and I were so relieved. It ended up that the scheduled driver had fallen asleep in his car in the parking lot of the airport and woke up with the daylight in a huge panic too! God keeps me on my toes so I will depend on him for sure!!!
Two weeks ago, the country of Tanzania suffered a horrific tragedy when an oil tanker was involved in an accident and exploded on a busy street! Over 60 people were killed instantly and to date, over 100 have died. In one month, Burn Care International will be traveling to the Muhimbili National Hospital in Dar es Salaam to set up a rehabilitation program for the survivors. They desperately need our help!!
Will you partner with us make this possible? Ironically, we were already talking with this hospital about setting up a rehabilitation clinic BUT the need became urgent when over 40 survivors from this accident were all admitted to MNH in one day. We knew we had to help and the time to help is NOW!!
Burn healing is a LONG process, anywhere from 1-3 years. Tanzania needs a proper rehabilitation program to meet the needs of burn victims and to help minimize unnecessary scars and contractures.
Custom made pressure garments, physical therapy, appropriate nutrition, psychological counseling, and hygiene all make a well rounded rehab program. During our time there, we will make custom pressure garments for each survivor, implement individualized treatment plans, and train the staff there to run their own effective program. Muhimbili National Hospital will then serve as the model site for rehabilitative burn care in Tanzania with future plans to train across the country for all hospitals with burn patients.
Helping burn patients heal properly changes lives and gives hope. These patients desperately need help and your donation will truly make a difference!! Your investment will meet the immediate needs of these survivors and also insure a better future for burn patients in Tanzania ! Please give generously! All donations are tax deductible with zero administration fees! Pay pal is a convenient method of giving but they do charge a small fee. If you would prefer, you can send a tax deductible donation to
Burn Care International
419 Woodland Drive
Florence, SC. 29501
Last night we had such a fun Christmas party to pamper our essential oil customers complete with yummy snacks and several DIY essential oil crafts. One was this cute test tube of Lavender Bath Salts! Check out the recipe below!
One way that I raise funds for this ministry helping burned patients in developing countries around the world is by being a distributor for essential oils! These are products I love and use for my own family! I am committed to living as toxin free as possible - what I eat, what I put on my skin, and what I breathe. We use Young Living products for all things CLEAN - over the counter products, body care, makeup and skin care, supplements, oils, etc. Ditch the chemicals and GO CLEAN!! It's good for your budget and good for your family!
To purchase your own 100% pure essential oils visit bit.ly/burncareessentials
Lavender Bath Salts
(Test Tube recipe - full one below)
1/3 cup Epsom salt
1 teaspoon lavender buds
3 drops Young Living lavender oil
Mix well and add to test tube
***NOTES: Epsom salt, named for a bitter saline spring at Epsom in Surrey, England, is not actually salt but a naturally occurring pure mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate. Stress drains the body of magnesium and increases levels of adrenaline. When dissolved in warm water, Epsom salt is absorbed through the skin and replenishes the level of magnesium in the body. Magnesium helps to produce serotonin, a mood-elevating chemical within the brain that creates a feeling of calm and relaxation. Research shows that magnesium also increases energy and stamina by encouraging the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the energy packets made in the cells. The sulfates in Epsom salt help flush toxins and heavy metals from the cells, easing muscle pain and helping the body to eliminate harmful substances. Your skin is a highly porous membrane and adding the right minerals to your bathwater triggers a process called reverse osmosis, which actually pulls salt out of your body, and harmful toxins along with it. Experts believe that bathing with Epsom salts a minimum of three times each week is beneficial to your health. Ideally you want to use 1-2 cups of salts in your warm bath and soak at least ten minutes so make up a bulk supply. 3 cups epsom salt, 2 cups sea salt, 1 cup baking soda, 15 drops essential oil!
Our patients come in all shapes and sizes and so it is important for each patient to receive their own custom made pressure garment for their burns – two or three sets – one to wash, one to wear, and one to dry (if it's the rainy season). This little girl, Negat, had a very old burn scar on her legs and palm that needed some reconstructive surgery and so now we are working hard to get the best possible outcome for her skin as it heals. Only God could have orchestrated the events that would put me in the presence of this sweet little girl today and thousands like her each year and I feel incredibly humbled and blessed. Join me in this work - You can help make a difference. When you donate to BCI you are giving children like Negat a chance!!! Please consider making a generous gift to our DECEMBER - GIVE A CHILD A CHANCE CAMPAIGN – tax deductible – 0% administration fees – truly making a difference! mail your tax deductible gift to Burn Care International 419 Woodland Drive Florence, SC. 29501 or use the PayPal link on this site (PayPal keeps 2.2% + .30)
What an unbelievable honor to be chosen as the recipient of the 2018 Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award from the University of South Carolina! The Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award, named for the great humanitarian and philanthropist, honors an outstanding graduate demonstrating professional excellence of character and service to humanity and is the highest honor awarded to Carolina alumni. My entire family enjoyed a wonderful weekend of celebration hosted by the amazing staff from the Carolina Alumni Association! I was humbled to be honored for my work with burned patients around the world and give God the glory for this privilege.
Exactly one year ago, I traveled to Addis Ababa to officially begin the work of Burn Care International in Ethiopia. I am honored to partner with Dr. Einar Eriksen in this life changing work. I brought an excellent seamstress on board to work with us and she immediately understood the reason for using a pressure garment and has done an excellent job this year. I am looking forward to traveling to Ethiopia this fall to give some training to the medical staff on the use and importance of pressure garments for reducing scar formation and preventing contractures as well as catch up with the Ericksens and spend some time with Aminat! Working with burn survivors has been such a blessing for my life and I thanking God today and everyday that he gave me this ministry!
This may look like an ordinary sidewalk, but it actually leads to one of my favorite places- The pediatric burn unit at the public hospital in Cochamba, Bolivia! I am headed there tomorrow and cannot wait to walk through the hospital doors into a place that feels like home!
Cute little Belinda is not a happy camper today but isn’t she still a cutie pie! I try to post happy photos but we all know that it’s kind of unrealistic to think that burns, doctor visits, pain, medicine, tight garments, little children and the word happy would often go together? The first few visits are traumatic because the kids are afraid of clinics in general and worry what we are going to do to them. Thankfully it doesn’t take long for us to build trust and start seeing some smiles! We do all we can to make this a positive experience for our patients and their families!! Your involvement helps us make a difference everyday!
Hi, I'm Cindy,
God literally set me on fire in 2001 with third degree burns on 40% of my body so that I could understand the needs and so that I would have a passion for other burn victims......Now, I travel and teach, helping care givers in developing countries around the world with practical ideas on how to offer a low cost, effective, rehabilitation program for their patients.