You may remember Patience from last year when we blogged about her story. Since April, Patience has been in the U.S. receiving medical treatment for her epilepsy and the severe burns she received after having an epileptic seizure while cooking in West Point.
The Jaycee Burn Center and the UNC Burn Reconstruction and Aesthetic Center at UNC Hospitals treated Patience; first, to control her seizures, and then to help the scarring from the burns. The rest of the scars on her face, neck, chest, and shoulders were treated with laser treatments to help reduce inflammation. The treatment softened her scars, allowed for more motion in her neck, and animation in her smile and face.
Patience came to the US after she met Dr. David Wohl when he was in Monrovia doing work to improve treatment for Liberian people affected by the Ebola outbreak as well as the lives of Liberian Ebola survivors. While in Monrovia, Katie gave Dr. Wohl a tour of the MTM Academy and introduced him to Patience, who told Dr. Wohl about how she got her burns.
Because Patience was a student at the MTM Academy, she received life saving treatment immediately after being burned, but her quality of life since then remained low. When Dr. Wohl came to visit and mentioned his work in the burn treatment center, we introduced him to Patience to see if he could help her.
Dr. Wohl connected Patience to the UNC Hospitals, the Jaycee Burn Center and the UNC Burn Reconstruction and Aesthetic Center, and helped get all of Patience’s treatment fees covered by private donations from a Burn Center Fund that was created to provide surgical or reconstructive services to international patients who would otherwise not have access. Without Dr.Wohl’s help, Patience would not have had an opportunity to treat her scars and seizures.
Dr. Wohl, his family and friends, and his medical colleagues kindly opened their homes and hearts to Patience over the past several months. Patience received medical care and amazing opportunities for growth and education like working with a reading tutor and taking sewing and yoga classes.
We’d like to say a huge THANK YOU to Dr. David Wohl, his wife Alison, their two kids, and the entire UNC team! Thank you for caring for Patience and making her feel at home with you in North Carolina. We are so, so grateful.
Patience is returning to Liberia this week and is excited to see her friends and family and return to school at the MTM Academy. She’s an incredibly strong and creative young woman, and we can’t wait to see what she does next.