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Care, innovation, education and research

news item News Tuesday, November 19, 2019 Tuesday, November 19, 2019 11:11 AM - Tuesday, November 19, 2019 11:11 AM

Briah's story

The children who come to Shriners Hospitals for Children — Boston often develop strong relationships with staff due to the long-term care they receive as a result of their burn injuries. This fosters comfort and trust, and contributes to positive outcomes. Patients like Briah are a big part of what makes the Boston Shriners Hospital such a special place.

In 2011, Briah was just a year old when a kerosene lamp tipped over, spilling onto her bed in her home in the Bahamas. Suffering severe burns, Briah was rushed to Princess Margaret Hospital in Nassau. There, staff recognized that Briah needed the expertise of doctors who specialized in pediatric burn care. Fortunately, the hospital had a connection with the Boston Shriners Hospital.

Once Briah arrived in Boston, doctors immediately started treatment. She sustained third degree burns on her left arm, both legs, face and scalp, covering 65% of her body. Over the course of seven months, Briah went through nine surgeries. One involved a partial foot amputation and others focused on her extensive burn injuries. At the end of her stay, Briah received a prosthesis, which helped increase her mobility and freedom when she returned home.

Briah returned to the hospital in 2015 to begin her plastic and reconstructive care with Daniel Driscoll, M.D. She also met Melissa Brown, one of the hospital’s clinical social workers. Melissa has gotten to know Briah well throughout the years and said that this year’s visit from Briah and her mom, Violet, started with the news that Briah desperately needed a new prosthetic. Violet explained that Briah spends her days running around outside without shoes, so the bottom of the prosthetic was completely worn down. Melissa thought this was reassuring, because it showed that Briah is living a full life, exploring nature and playing outside.

Another reason for Briah’s return to Boston was to continue treatment related to her burn injury. Her first procedure was a skin graft on the back of her right and left leg, followed by a suture and stent removal to both legs. She also received a Z-plasty to her right hand, and skin grafting to the left wrist and small finger.

In addition to the surgical interventions, Briah and her mother worked with the nurses and Dr. Driscoll in the clinic to learn dressing care post-surgery. Violet does a fantastic job caring for her daughter post–op, changing Briah’s bandages and making sure her daughter is comfortable.

After her procedures, Briah was non-weight bearing for about three weeks. She began working with the rehabilitation staff after she was cleared to return to weight bearing. She received new pressure garments as well as a new prosthetic. This visit was another step toward great outcomes for Briah.

Briah may seem a little shy during her stay in the hospital, but it is clear when she is at home that she is the star of the show. Briah can often be found dancing and laughing while playing at home. Briah looks up to her mom for reassurance and comfort while she visits the hospital. Violet is her daughter’s biggest advocate and expressed her gratitude to the hospital, sharing, “Shriners is making a big difference in Briah’s life after the burn, and being here always keeps her smiling.”

Briah and Violet have always been such strong supporters of our hospital. Briah has appeared in many of our brochures and marketing materials since she was just a baby. On behalf of the hospital, we would like to thank Briah and her mother, Violet, for sharing their story so others can learn about the amazing care here.

Briah and staff memberBriah and her mom