In 2009, eight-year-old Salomon was brought to a rural clinic in Burundi by his grandparents. He was malnourished and suffering from a terrible infection in his right leg, the result of a small cut that had gotten infected. Once the infection had taken hold, it spread to his right hip, left shin and right forearm, a disease called osteomyelitis. The team at the clinic was able to stabilize him with oral antibiotics, but unable to provide the surgical care necessary to eradicate the infection—in fact, such treatment isn’t available anywhere in the country or region.
I met Salomon in 2011 when I first visited the clinic. I started looking for a surgical placement that would treat him and eventually found Shriners Hospital in Boston which has a pediatric orthopedic practice and takes many international patients. After a long legal process I became Salomon's guardian and brought him to the US in February. At the end of March we arrived in Boston to start the surgical treatment.
After six surgeries on his leg and four on his arm, Salomon is infection free!
It has been a long and difficult road, and there is still a long way to go. After nearly seven weeks in the hospital we just returned home, but the treatment will continue: he needs IV antibiotics at home every eight hours; we go back in about two months for bone grafting to rebuild where the infected bone was removed; he needs surgery and treatment to lengthen the bones that stopped growing because of the infection; ultimately he will need a total right hip replacement.
Because he has only been in the US for three months and isn't yet adopted (I’m his guardian now and the adoption process is ongoing), he is ineligible for public or private insurance. Shriners has been absolutely wonderful, and all the care we receive in the hospital—hundreds of thousands of dollars worth—has been donated. But they can’t cover care outside the hospital—IV medicine, lab testing, home nursing, equipment, etc. We're hoping that you will help us get him through this period and keep him infection free!
I've posted more photos and videos here.
Thank you so much!