Arriving in Cincinnati

Cathy and I were delighted to see Boun Lod and her parents walk through the gate at the Cincinnati airport about mid-afternoon on Tuesday the 28th of October. At that point, they’d been travelling for almost three days. Via and Noy were tired, but Boun Lod was bright as a bee. Via’s brother Pat, and Pat’s niece Cindy were also on hand to great them when they arrived.

We were immediately struck by how much Boun Lod had grown since we last saw her in July 2007.

From the airport, we took Boun Lod and her parents to a hotel near the Shriners Hospital. After a quick bite, they crashed in their room looking forward to twelve hours of sleep. Or at least that was the plan. Perhaps predictably, Boun Lod was excited and not terribly tired, and kept her parents up for a good part of the night.

The next day we all went to the hospital for a tour, and then went over to the Parent’s House and started to get them settled in.

Group Photo

Group Photo

Parent House

Parent House

 

Over the next several days, we got to know the family even better than before. Boun Lod is a terrifically happy kid, and was excited with everything she saw. She liked elevators and escalators and WALK signs and kiddie slides and doors that open with the push of a “handicapped” button and, well, everything… When we took her to the hospital she was interested to see that there were other burned kids. She jumped right in, as kids do, and started playing with them. And she was particularly interested in the hospital school. She wanted to get in there and start reading the books, and colouring, and using the computers.

Boun Lod even liked going to the grocery store and to Target. She laughed and giggled as we wheeled her around the store at high speed. She was amazed with all the books and toys, and wanted to turn every electronic toy ON by pushing the buttons with her stumps. And she couldn’t get enough of the snow globes. She impressed the staff at Circuit City by how quickly she learned to play the display video games using just her stumps—”Hmm, that’s pretty cool”, as the young store clerk said.

Noy and Via are happy to be in Cincinnati but, understandably, they’re worried about what’s to come.

They’re also a little overwhelmed by everything. They have to deal not only with the surgery and therapy, but also with a totally different culture where they don’t speak the language. Even things we take for granted like using an electric stove or an automatic washing machine are new to them. Still, they’re taking things in stride, and are doing their best to “go with the flow”.

Boun Lod had her first visit with the surgeon, anaesthetist, and medical team on the Friday. The medical team already had a plan worked out, and the examination confirmed that the plan is appropriate. They’ll start by releasing the skin webbing under her arms and then, in subsequent surgeries, work on her face, neck, and scalp.

The Shriners Hospital is great. It’s a very kid-friendly place, and the staff seems first rate. We feel confident that Boun Lod will receive exemplary care. Perhaps the feeling at the hospital was best expressed by one of the therapists who said, “Thank you for finding Boun Lod and bringing her to us.”

 

Boun Lod, Noy, and Via mugging with a cutout at the Shriners Hospital.

Boun Lod, Noy, and Via mugging with a cutout at the Shriners Hospital.

 

Via and Noy are happy, pleased, and grateful for all the assistance they’ve received. To everyone who’s made a donation, organized a fundraising event, sent things, or otherwise helped with the effort to send Boun Lod to Cincinnati they say, “Kop chai du”, or “Thank you very, very much”. They also wanted to let everyone know that they’re respectful of all the help, and that they’ll do their best to make the most of this opportunity.

Boun Lod’s first surgery is scheduled for Nov 10. I’ll take some of my frequent flyer points and fly back to Cincinnati to be there for the surgery, and for her first few days of recovery.

 

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One Response to “Arriving in Cincinnati”

  1. sheree lickfold-janke Says:

    I was a dental hygienist back in the late ’70s and when i was looking for some info on the dental clinic in PC, I read all about this incredible child. I would love to donate towards this. most sincerely, sheree

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