Summer 2011

Boun Lod and her mother Noi arrived back in Cincinnati on May 26, after a long but uneventful trip via Bangkok, Tokyo, and Detroit.

After a few days recovering from jet lag, Boun Lod found herself back in the familiar surroundings of the Shriners Hospital for Children where she had a series of medical tests and evaluations. The doctors were pleased by how she had healed, and by the range of motion in her arms. The previous surgeries, along with the ongoing therapy (both in the hospital and at home with Noi), seem to have been very successful.

Now that some of the major surgery has been done to allow Boun Lod to grow and develop properly, the surgeons are turning more to her cosmetic needs.

Boun Lod’s first surgery this time around was on June 13. The surgeons took a piece of skin from the back of her arm, attached it to her lower lip, and then lifted the skin to form a new lip.

Just after surgery

Just after Surgery

The early-morning surgery went well and, by the end of the afternoon, Boun Lod was anxious to get her IV out so she could go to the playroom. Boun Lod was discharged from hospital the next day.

Noi and Boun Lod. Feeling Better Already.

Noi and Boun Lod. Feeling Better Already.

A week later, Boun Lod was back to the clinic to have her stitches removed, and to be fitted for a hard plastic facemask. The facemask will help reduce scarring, and will help her new lip heal properly.

While at home in Laos for the past 18 months, Noi continued to take English classes at Vientiane College, and her English is getting better and better. Noi now understands and speaks well enough to get by in most day-to-day situations. Boun Lod’s English is also improving, and she understands much of what is said.

On July 1, Noi and Boun Lod flew to Philadelphia to stay with family until Boun Lod’s next appointment in Cincinnati in early August. At that time, the doctors will evaluate Boun Lod’s progress, and will decide on the next surgery.

Boun Lod will also make regular visits to the Shriners Hospital in Philadelphia where she will continue the training on how to use her prosthetic arms.

Come September, we hope to get Boun Lod back to school in Philadelphia. Hopefully, her good friends Cindy and Gemma will still be there. I bet she’s looking forward to seeing them again.

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