Hospital specialists answer a burning need

Words: Brigid O’Connell
Photo: Alex Coppel

As the adults hurried about their chores just before dinner, Caleb Sinaga had his eye on his next plaything.

Caleb Sinaga, 11 months, is recovering from a burns accident with the help of his parents. Picture: Alex Coppel

The 11-month-old was a speedy crawler, and had mastered hoisting himself into standing position by pulling himself up on the couch or table.

So when a freshly made cup of tea was sitting in reach on the coffee table, he had poured it over himself before anyone could intervene.

“Initially Caleb wasn’t too close to the tea. But everyone is busy, it’s the end of the day, everyone is rushing around. We weren’t looking and when you look he’s already grabbing the cup of hot tea,” said mum Ramona Attamimi.

“I rushed to run water over it,” she said.

“My mother-in-law, who was there, brought some ointment to put on it.

“It was red by then. I didn’t know what to do with burns. I’d never had them before. I didn’t know how severe it was.

“I called the maternal child health nurse. They said because it’s on his face and he’s a baby, it’s better to bring him to ED.”

After taking him to their local hospital, they were transferred to The Royal Children’s Hospital for ongoing outpatient care for the second degree burns.

Specialist nurses and plastic surgeons work with each child until the wounds have sufficiently healed, ahead of physiotherapists managing their longer term care – usually over months or years – to reduce the scarring and improve movement as much as possible.

Thanks to your generous support, we can make a difference to children like Caleb and support world-leading care at the RCH. Click here to donate today to the Good Friday Appeal.

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