Collaborating And Rebuilding Lives In Viet Nam

By: Michael Appleman, CEO


Burn Survivors Throughout The World, Inc. (BSTTW), the French-Vietnamese Hospital (FVH) in Ho Chi Minh City Viet Nam, Gottfried Medical, Inc. and Miracle of Aloe from the USA and Arya Vaidya Pharmacy in India collaborated in order to rebuild the lives of several burn victims and burn survivors in Viet Nam.

The BSTTW Viet Nam Fund donated the finances needed to pay for the surgery, medications and massage therapy Ms. Xuan needed. The BSTTW Viet Nam Fund also funding the expenses for Michael Appleman, BSTTW CEO and Nguyen Thi Dieu Tran, BSTTW Vice President & Director - Viet Nam to travel to Viet Nam, deliver the pressure garments to Dr. Franckhauser, the plastic surgeon in charge of Ms. Xuan's case at the French-Vietnamese Hospital, offer medical supplies and wound care treatment to two burn survivors in need of wound care work, accept BSTTW Medical Treatment Applications and offer fire safety education at several villages in South Viet Nam.

Two months before BSTTW's upcoming trip to Viet Nam Mr. Michael Appleman, contacted the French-Vietnamese Hospital in Viet Nam and requested that Dr. Siegfried Franckhauser a plastic surgeon evaluate Ms. Xuan, a burn survivor who was in need of pressure garments, z-plasty, medications, massage therapy and rehabilitation. Dr. Franckhauser evaluated Ms. Xuan and concluded that she will need z-plasty surgery and pressure garments. Dr. Franckhauser asked Mr. Appleman if BSTTW would be able to get the pressure garments needed for Ms. Xuan. This is due to the fact that Viet Nam does not have any companies that produces pressure garments. Mr. Appleman immediately contacted several companies who produce pressure garments in the USA and other areas around the world. Lisa King from Gottfried Medical, Inc. responded to Mr. Appleman's request. Ms. King informed Mr. Appleman that Mr. Gottfried would be willing to donate the pressure garments needed for Ms. Xuan. Mr. Appleman and Ms. King put together the information needed and sent all to Dr. Franckhauser. Dr. Franckhauser set up an appointment at the hospital for Ms. Xuan and took the needed measurements for the pressure garments, fill out the order forms and submitted them to Gottfried Medical, Inc.. Once the order was received Mr. Appleman and Ms. King spoke and it was decided that two pair of pressure garments would be ordered for Ms. Xuan. The order was submitted and Gottfried Medical, Inc. produced and donated the pressure garments to BSTTW.

On February 14, 2006, Mr. Appleman and Ms. Dieu Tran transported the pressure garments, fire safety educational materials and medications to Viet Nam. On February 17, 2006, they met with Dr. Franckhauser and Dr. Biset at the French-Vietnamese Hospital. Mr. Appleman delivered the pressure garments to Dr. Franckhauser. Then on Monday February 20, 2006, Mr. Appleman, Ms. Dieu Tran, Dr. Franckhauser and Ms. Xuan met. Dr. Franckhauser evaluated Ms. Xuan's medical needs and medical condition. Ms. Xuan also tried on the pressure garments. Dr. Franckhauser concluded that it would be best if Ms. Xuan wore the pressure garments for 1 week and inform him if the pressure garments are fitting properly or not. At that time they will reevaluate Ms. Xuan's medical needs and decide on possible surgery for Ms. Xuan. Mr. Appleman set up the next appointment for Monday February 27, 2006 and informed Ms. Xuan that she must wear the pressure garments every day and if there was a problem that she should contact Dr. Franckhauser and Ms. Dieu Tran.

Mr. Appleman and Ms. Dieu Tran began their traveling around South Viet Nam in order to offer fire safety information and wound care services. They informed Ms. Xuan that they will return to Ho Chi Minh City on time for the appointment with Dr. Franckhauser. During their travel around South Viet Nam, Mr. Appleman and Ms. Dieu Tran met other burn survivors who were in need of their support and services. The burn survivors were given BSTTW information and the BSTTW Medical Application. Mr. Appleman was informed that in Nha Trang Viet Nam, there were three new burn victims who were in need of wound care. They immediately decided to redirect to Nha Trang and meet with the three burn victims who were in need of wound care.

Ms. Dieu Tran contacted the three burn victims in Nha Trang and requested that they come to the home Mr. Appleman is staying at in order for Mr. Appleman to evaluate their wounds and speak with them about wound care. Two of the burn victims were female and one was male. The male burn victim stated that he became Viet Cong and did not want to have an American do wound care work on his burned arm. Ms. Dieu Tran informed him that Mr. Appleman would not be able to give him any medications before he evaluated the burn wounds. He decided that he would not see Mr. Appleman and that his burn wound would not be treated. Both female burn victims came for an evaluation and had Mr. Appleman and his team offer them wound care work. After evaluating the wounds Mr. Appleman felt that Agnijith would be the herbal medication to use. The 2 year old little girl suffered a second degree burn to her calf. This occurred when her calf hit the exhaust pipe on the motorbike she was traveling on with her family. She is a relative of Ms. Xuan the burn survivor who received the pressure garments from Gottfried Medical Inc. at the French-Vietnamese Hospital.

Mr. Appleman evaluated the little girls calf burn wound and informed her parents that she is suffering from second degree burns to her calf. He offered wound care with Agnijith twice a day. The family agreed. You can see four pictures of the patient, the wound and treatment. The little girl did suffer from a little pain during the wound care. The BSTTW team offered the patient toys and snacks from the USA. This helped to increase her positive attitude and helped the wound care meetings run smoothly. Mr. Appleman used salt water to clean the wound each day, Agnijith and the Miracle Ointment on the burn.

The second burn victim is a 30 year old female, Ms. Anh, who suffered 2nd and 3rd degree burns to her face while she was cooking at home. Ms. Anh the adult burn victim informed Mr. Appleman that she received wound care from a relative who was also a surgeon in Nha Trang, Viet Nam. Ms. Anh stated that she was burned when she became unconscious in the kitchen and fell foward while she was cooking. She went to the hospital for treatment. Ms. Anh said that the doctor gave her medication to take by mouth and offered her wound care treatment twice. Ms. Anh stated that after the second wound care session the doctor informed her that she should leave the wound open for two to three months and it will heal and that she was not to come for wound care work any longer.

After evaluating the burns, Mr. Appleman informed Ms. Anh that she definitely needed wound care work. In the middle of the burn, under the outer scab, the third degree burn was not healilng and appeared to possibly be infected. Mr. Apppleman informed Ms. Anh that she definately is in need of wound care. Ms. Anh agreed to the wound care treatment. Mr. Appleman set up two sessions per day. Mr. Appleman decided to use Agnijith, the herbal medication from India. For the next five days Ms. Anh attended the wound care treatment twice a day for the next five days. On the third day of treatment, the BSTTW team decided to begin removing the scab. In order to do so, they soaked the scab in distilled water and salt. Once the scab was removed BSTTW began to put Agnijith on the scars and open wounds. The third degree burn needed special care. By the fifth day of treatment Ms. Anh was showing excellent improvement. You can see the improvement in the last picture of Ms. Anh. That picture is also the last day Mr. Appleman and Ms. Dieu Tran would be in Nha Trang. Mr. Appleman informed Ms. Anh that he would be leaving and that the BSTTW team would continue the treatment twice a day, take pictures at each treatment session and contact him if they had any questions. Ms. Anh agreed to continue her treatment. Two days later, Mr. Appleman was informed that Ms. Anh decided not to return for wound care, and the BSTTW team does not know anything more about Ms. Anh.

During this trip to Viet Nam, BSTTW found three more burn survivors who are in need of extensive medical treatment. They are in the process of filling out and submitting the BSTTW Medical Application to BSTTW in order to apply for free medical treatment. In order for BSTTW to continue supporting the burn survivors and burn victims in Viet Nam, the non profit organization must continue to raise funding. We ask you to please consider donating to the BSTTW Viet Nam Fund. You can learn more about the BSTTW Viet Nam Fund and how you can donate in English at or in Vietnamese at