Boun Lod’s Second Round of Surgery

On Saturday, March 28, I used some of my frequent flyer points to fly to Cincinnati. Boun Lod and her parents arrived the same day from Philadelphia.

The time had come for Boun Lod’s second round of surgery.

Boun Lod was admitted to the Shriners Hospital on Sunday, and had her first surgery early Monday morning.

The surgeon released the skin on Boun Lod’s cheek and under her chin, and the results were immediately noticeable. Even with all the swelling and dressings, her mouth appeared “bigger” and “straighter”, she had definition in her lips, neck, and chin, and her left eye was less droopy. Her chin is small, but the doctor thinks it should grow now that it’s not restricted.

On Tuesday, Boun Lod went back to the operating room to have skin grafted from her back and onto her face. A sort of plastic dressing that was held in place by metal staples replaced Monday’s bandages.


Boun Lod with her mother after her second surgery.

Boun Lod with her mother after her second surgery.


Boun Lod was a little sick after Monday’s operation, but felt better after Tuesday’s surgery, and was eating quite a bit by Wednesday. On Wednesday morning, we wheeled her down to the playroom and she played video games, manipulating the controller with her feet.

Via and Noi are doing well, although they were pretty tired after a couple of nights of getting woken up every hour or two as the nurses came in to check on Boun Lod.


Boun Lod, feeling better, with her mom and dad.

Boun Lod, feeling better, with her mom and dad.


The surgical staples were removed on the Sunday following her surgery, and Boun Lod was discharged on Monday. The family moved back to the Shriners “Parent’s House” in Cincinnati where they’ll stay for the next several weeks while Boun Lod heals.

For many months, Boun Lod will have to wear a plastic “goalies mask” to put pressure on her skin to keep thick scar tissue from forming. She’ll also have to continue wearing her other pressure garments for some time.

The doctors thinks she might need one more operation on her mouth and eye in three or four month’s time, and before she goes home, but we won’t know for sure until she heals up from this round of surgery. In case Boun Lod and her parents have to stay a while beyond their one-year visas, we’re starting the process of applying to extend them.

Boun Lod will also need additional surgeries when she’s about 8, 12, and 19 years old.

When Boun Lod has recovered enough to travel, the family will fly back to Philadelphia to stay with relatives. The Shriners Hospital in Philadelphia is making prosthetic arms for Boun Lod, and they should be ready when she gets back.  Once final adjustments have been made to the arms, Boun Lod will start learning how to use them.        

For several weeks prior to returning to Cincinnati for this round of surgery, an occupational therapist from the Philadelphia school board visited Boun Lod every Monday to work with her. We’re now in the process of getting Boun Lod registered to start kindergarten in September.

People continue to be very generous in their support of Boun Lod, and donations and other forms of support continue to arrive.

Boun Lod was very pleased with a “Christmas Box” that came all the way from Pincher Creek.

In March, the Women In Fellowship Unit of the Trinity United Church Women in Fort Macleod held a silent auction in conjunction with the church’s annual Roast Beef Supper and made a very generous donation to the Boun Lod fund.

In another display of kindness and generosity, a group of ladies (Brenda, Dorothy, Janet, Karma, Linde, Marilyn, Wallace) got together and made a “Boun Lod” rag doll complete with an extensive collection of clothing. The really special thing about the doll is that, like Boun Lod, its arms end at the elbows, but it has “prosthetics” that can be attached to the stumps.

I delivered the doll (complete with its “Dora the Explorer” travelling case) to Boun Lod. She and her mother were really taken with it. When I explained that “a group of mothers” got together to make the doll for her child, Noi got a little misty eyed. The last thing she said as I left the hospital to return home was to “please thank everyone again”, and “please thank all the mothers”.


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