A friendship formed through burns support charity MY Burns Club, has provided invaluable help for a 19 year old burns victim.
Maya Fieldhouse from Wibsey in Bradford, doesn’t think she could have got through the ordeal of her recent operation if fellow burns patient Becky Brown hadn’t been by her side.
“I met Becky two years ago at a MY Burns Club Halloween party,” said Maya, “and we’ve been friends ever since. Having Becky to talk to about my recent operation has helped me massively. It’s been a long time since I’ve had to come in to hospital and have anything done but because Becky’s experience was more recent she helped to put me at ease.”
Maya was originally admitted to the Children’s Regional Burns Unit at Pinderfields Hospital on the eve of her third birthday after suffering full thickness burns, mainly to her legs, by falling into a bath of hot water.
Her recent operation was to enable the skin to grow and stretch properly on her feet and involved taking skin grafts from her legs. Becky suffered fifty percent burns to her body in a house fire just over two years ago.
Not only has Becky been able to share her experiences with Maya, but she also drove her to hospital on the day of her operation and has visited her almost every day since.
“Becky drove from Leeds to Bradford and then Pinderfields, to get me there for 7am,” said Maya. “There aren’t many people who would get up at 5am and do that for someone, I’m really grateful to her. She then waited whilst I had my operation and has been helping me to keep my spirits up since – I’m in quite a bit of pain!”
Both girls have nothing but praise for the MY Burns Club charity, which not only brought them together but has given them continuing support, helping them to learn to live with their scars and build their confidence.
Tracy Foster, BEM is a play specialist at The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust and plays an integral role in the rehabilitation of those admitted to the Children’s Regional Burns Unit and also runs the MY Burns Club charity. “A burn is a difficult injury for anyone to come to terms with, let alone a child,” she said. “We work with our patients to help them to learn to live with their scars and injuries.
“I also help the kids with that transition from being an in-patient on the Children’s Burns Unit to being a patient on an adult ward. This is another element that has made things more difficult for Maya this time. It can be hard to go from one to the other. You have to be a lot more independent. You suddenly find that the surgeon and anaesthetist are explaining things to you rather than your parent and sometimes people don’t really understand what it all means.
“I also make sure that the patients get a chance to look around the ward they will be admitted to and meet the team there, to help put them at ease.
“Children with such bad burns spend a lot of time in hospital and become familiar with their surroundings and the staff there become like a family, it’s so important to ensure the move to an adult ward is managed properly.”
Maya isn’t sure yet when she will be able to go home, but in the meantime is enjoying the visits from Becky and the extra care and attention from Tracy.