When Tieraa Viala was one year old, she fell into her mother’s cooking fire and severely burned her hand and wrist, locking her scared wrist in a tight downward position and fusing her fingers together.
Tieraa suffered greatly for many months, with no pain medicines available then on the central Pacific island called Christmas (Kiritimati).
Now, after two surgeries at Shriners Hospital for Children in Honolulu, Tieraa is returning home with full use of her wrist and with her fingers separated.
“We are overjoyed. Thanks to God and everyone involved,” says her mother. After: Now ready to return home from Shriners Hospital in Honolulu, Tieraa and her mother are thrilled that she now has full use of her hand and wrist, following two significant surgeries, thanks to PIMA’s donors, the Kiribati Ministry of Health and Shriners Hospital.
Tieraa’s surgery was made possible by Shriners Hospital ‘adopting’ young orthopedic cases in Kiribati in an agreement with Pacific Islands Medical Aid, Inc. (PIMA), and the Kiribati Ministry of Health in which Shriners provides all medical care without cost, PIMA takes care of housing, meals and transportation while patients are in Honolulu and the Kiribati Ministry of Health pays for air fare.
“Tieraa’s first surgery in 2014 straightened her wrist and the second surgery now has separated her fused fingers,” said Carlton Smith, PIMA president.
“A huge thank you is due everyone at Shriners Hospital,” Carlton said. “The outcome is remarkable.” Also to be thanked are members of the Honolulu host family, including Kaitibo Timon and his daughter Etita, who have housed Tieraa and her mother, provided meals and all local transportation, Carlton said.
“There are currently eight more island children on the Shriners surgery list. Please help us continue this great collaboration by donating to PIMA to help the children of Kiribati in this wonderful program,” Carlton said.