10-year-old burn victim to undergo sixth surgery

Barely 10 years old, Navi Mumbai resident Priya Vethal would be undergoing a sixth surgery on Friday to rectify a burn scar contracture on her neck she sustained at the age of three. Priya suffered the contractures in a fire mishap she met with in Aurangabad, her hometown.

Priya Vethal

The incident occurred while she was playing next to the bonfire lit outside her house on a chilly day. Priya ventured too close to the flames, as a result of which her dress caught fire. Unfortunately for the toddler her parents were away. And by the time they rescued their daughter, she was left with burn scar contractures on her neck and underarms.

Priya’s father Ravindra said the family decided to shift to Uran in Navi Mumbai for better medical facilities. He added that Priya’s fifth operation was also done at Dr DY Patil Hospital. “I work in Uran, so I asked my wife and children to move here because it was a tedious task getting Priya to Navi Mumbai for treatment at regular intervals. So far, surgeons have managed to free her armpits that were stuck to her chest after the accident.

But it saddens us to see our daughter undergoing so many surgeries at regular intervals, especially at such a tender age,” Ravindra said. Narrating the incident, Ravindra said Priya went too close to the bonfire. “It wasn’t until she started crying, after her frock caught fire that we realised something was wrong. It was too late by the time we reached the spot to rescue her.”

Dr Aananta Kulkarni, plastic surgeon at Dr D Y Patil Hospital, said, “We had done a surgery in the past to remove her contracture, as both her arms were stuck to the chest. The girl has suffered 20 per cent burns on crucial body parts, which is a cause of concern. The upcoming surgery will help remove the contracture to a certain extent.” He added that in such cases it was essential that patients exercise regularly, which he said patients ignore, resulting in delayed post-surgery improvements. 

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