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Boun Lod returns to Cincinnati for further surgery

(Editor’s note: Boun Lod — her name means back from the dead — was severely burned as a baby when a candle fell into her crib and set her bedding on fire. Her distraught parents rushed her to hospital, but were told there was little that Laotian hospitals could do.
Bon Loud was sent back home, basically to die. But her parents Via and Noi managed to keep her alive even without the benefit of medications or medical help.
That’s when Pincher Creek physician Cathy Scrimshaw, in Asia for a 2007 medical conference with her husband Gordon Peterson, met the family and fell in love with little Boun Lod. That started the trickle of a stream of help that would eventually involve many southern Alberta groups raising funds for Boun Lod’s treatment at a U.S. Shriners hospital.
The following is the latest update on Boun Lod’s progress.)

Noi with her daughter Boun Lod

GORDON PETERSEN – GAZETTE CONTRIBUTOR
“Can I go to a big school now?”
Cathy and I had just arrived at the Parent House in Cincinnati, and had barely said hello, but Boun Lod was busting to ask the question. We hadn’t seen her for a number of months, and we were pleased that she had enjoyed school in Philadelphia so much that getting back to class was at the top of her mind. We were also surprised, and impressed, by how much her English had improved.
We had arrived in Cincinnati late the night before to be there for Boun Lod’s surgery that was scheduled for the next day.
Boun Lod’s last surgery was on her face and lip, and Boun Lod and Noi had been staying with relatives in Philadelphia while Boun Lod recovered.
While in Philadelphia, Boun Lod went to occupational therapy at the Philadelphia Shriners Hospital to work on the use of her prosthetic arms. Boun Lod also went to Moonstone Preschool, and apparently loved every minute of it.
Moonstone had very generously given Boun Lod a scholarship to help with her tuition, but the school also seems to have gained in return. The director of Moonstone commented, “The impact she has had on our school is immeasurable. We were very fortunate to have her with us!”

Clowns brought laughter to Boun Lod at the Philadelphia Shriners Hospital.

Boun Lod and her mother returned to Cincinnati on July 11. During the months she was in Philadelphia, Boun Lod had healed well, and the surgeons in Cincinnati were pleased with her progress.
A couple of days after her return to Cincinnati, Boun Lod had surgery to implant a “balloon” under her scalp. Over the next couple of months, the balloon will be injected with saline to slowly stretch the scalp. Once Boun Lod’s scalp has stretched sufficiently, the surgeons will cut it and move her hair forward, giving her a normal hairline.
Boun Lod wasn’t crazy about the idea of having a balloon implanted under her scalp but rounds of “Uno,” video games, and a visit from a group of clowns the day after her surgery were great distractions.
To allow the Shriners Hospital medical staff to administer and monitor the saline injections, and to allow them to closely monitor Boun Lod’s progress, Boun Lod and Noi will stay in Cincinnati until after Boun Lod’s next operation.
The doctors will see how Boun Lod does, and how she heals, before deciding what surgery and treatment should come next.
By all accounts, Boun Lod and her mother have been doing well since July’s surgery. Boun Lod goes to school at the hospital, and attends the “Child Life” program daily. Noi has been participating in the weekly parent group. Still, Boun Lod and Noi have been away from home for a long time, and they’re both anxious to return to family and friends.
If you would like to donate to the Boun Lod fund cheques can be made out to “Gordon Petersen and/or Cathy Scrimshaw In Trust for Boun Lod” and sent to Gordon Petersen and Cathy Scrimshaw, P.O. Box 2668, Pincher Creek, T0K 1W0, Canada.
There is information about how to donate at the blog bounlodfund.org.

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