Thursday, April 23, 2009

Dance Class

Yesterday, I went to the Women's Centre for my usual Wednesday English class, and arrived in time to catch the end of Creche (Kindergarten) class. The children were dancing to their favorite songs, singing along and doing their dance steps. Dance class is a very serious subject for them!

Meher was enjoying herself dancing as vigorously as all of her friends. The bandages were taken off her leg on Monday as the skin has grown back completely. She also had her first saline insertions on Monday. The expansion (injection of saline) will continue twice a week now. She is no longer in any pain and appears to be quite healthy, as you can see from her energy in the video below!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Full of Energy and Recovering Well

Meher went back to the hospital for a check up and dressing change yesterday. Everything is progressing nicely and we should be able to start filling the expanders with saline soon. Meher is as lively as ever and is attending classes, playing inside and outside, and interacting with everyone like she always does. The staff at the Women's Centre try to encourage her to play quietly as her leg and hand are still bandaged up, but as it is impossible to make a four year old sit still, she continues to run around.
Her left hand is healing well, but will remain in dressing until it is fully healed, which could take up to 6 or 8 more weeks. The leg wound is very slight and will be completely healed soon (the plastic surgeon had to take some skin from her leg to fully restore her left hand).

Monday, April 13, 2009

Thank You!


This is a long overdue list of people/businesses who have contributed or supported us. Thank you so much to everyone who has gotten involved, none of this would have been possible without all of you. (The list is in alphabetical order by first name/word).

Berlin Metropolitan School

Bertacchi Builders

Brian Gruber

Carole Bye

Chess Without Borders

Hough Street Chess Club

James and Kathy Redfield

Karen Armstrong

Kiran Frey

Maggie Gruber

Namita Gill

Pradip Sethi

Peter Spizzirri

Project Why

Ravi Bellur

Tanisha Keshava

Yury Shulman

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Meher's Music Video Debut

I wish (Aktion Lebensretter) from Verenice on Vimeo.

Meher is already developing her experience as a performer (as she is a true diva) and appears in the Aktion Lebensretter music video "I Wish" recorded at the Women Centre with Sabrina Verenice, who is a German singer and a huge supporter of Project Why (and Meher). You can learn more about Aktion Lebensretter here:

Thank you Sabrina for making all of this possible!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Check- Ups

Meher went back to the hospital for follow up care on Monday and Tuesday. She had her dressings changed and her left hand re-examined. She is doing fine and healing well and outside of the hospital she is is as active and lively as ever. Understandably, she does not like going back to the hospital, but now she does not need to have her dressings changed again until next week. We expect to start inserting saline into the expanders in about two weeks. Here she is at home at the Women's Centre:

Friday, April 3, 2009

Home At Last

Meher is home from the hospital resting and recovering. She is staying at the Women's Centre with lots of people to look after her nearby. She was released from the hospital this morning with no complications and has a follow up appointment with Dr. Khazanchi on Monday.
Meher was happy to be home and is eating normally. She is talking and interacting with everyone, although she is still very tired.

Explaining Tissue Expanders

This is a tissue expander. Yesterday, three tissue expanders were inserted under Meher's healthy skin and scalp tissue. They will slowly be filled with saline (she will start going to Dr. Khazanchi's clinic twice a week for the saline to be injected into the expanders once she is healed) so her healthy tissue will expand and eventually (in about 2-3 months) she will have another operation to remove the damanged tissue and replace it with healthy skin and scalp tissue. This is a picture of a child who went through the same procedure to remove a hairy nexus from his face:
When the expanders become full, they are quite large and unusual looking, so today I am meeting with the staff at the Women's Centre to show them pictures and make sure they understand the procedure. They in turn will pass this information on to their students, so Meher will have lots of support from her friends and teachers. As the expansion is gradual, it will not be painful. The inspiration for expanding healthy tissue this way actually came from pregnancy.
Here is another example of the same procedure used to restore hair after a burn:
Please note that this is only a basic explanation based on my understanding and I am not a plastic surgeon!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

First Successful Operation

Meher's first surgery was performed this morning and was entirely successful. She now has expanders in her scalp and forehead region so that healthy tissue can replace the damaged tissue there in 2-3 months (for the 2nd operation). Her left hand (the more severely damaged one) was also repaired. She is currently at the hospital recovering and will be sent home tomorrow morning. She is fine and is expected to be up and running around again shortly!

Due to hospital regulations and focusing on the medical procedures, I did not take any pictures , but will be able to do so again as soon as she is at home.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Pre-Surgery Preparations

Today Meher went to Sir Ganga Ram Hospital for her PAC and to fill out all necessary paper work for her operation tomorrow morning. She arrived at the hospital with Rajesh (a teacher from the Women's Centre who brought her because her parents were unable to come) and was excited to see me and to be in a new place. She was also happy to be wearing a new dress sent for her from America. However, as time went by, she grew impatient and became scared and hesitant in the new surroundings. However, we encouraged her to be patient and explained again why we were all at the hospital. Once everything was finished, she had some ice cream, so hopefully tomorrow she will be more enthusiastic about coming back!
Her operation is scheduled for early tomorrow morning (Thursday, April 2nd). She should be able to go home afterwards.