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News > Latin America

US: Children's Hospital to Help Guatemalan Burn Victims

  • More than 1,700,000 people had been affected, with 3,271 forced to evacuate.

    More than 1,700,000 people had been affected, with 3,271 forced to evacuate. | Photo: Reuters

Published 6 June 2018

Following the first eruption of the Fuego Volcano, the hospital initiated the mission to have the children be treated.

A Florida hospital is prepping to help child victims who received burns from the eruption of the Fuego Volcano in Guatemala.

At Least 75 Dead As Guatemala's Fire Volcano Erupts Again

"We’ve talked about doing training of doctors down there for future events, but in this case, these kids literally would die if they don’t find the right treatment,” Vice Chairman for the Board of Governors for Shriners Hospitals for Children in Tampa, Jim Rocha, said.

Following the first eruption of the volcano, the hospital initiated the mission to have the children be treated. Rocha said there are 40 members of the Shriners Club currently, in Guatemala, who are affiliated with the Tampa chapter of the hospital.

On Tuesday, medical personnel are making an assessment regarding putting in place the best-suited measures to transport several injured children to the pediatric burn center in Galveston, Texas.

“Shriners Hospitals is uniquely prepared to respond to a tragedy of this proportion, having specialized pediatric burn hospitals across the country,” said John McCabe, executive vice president of Shriners Hospitals for Children.

The children are expected to be transported by the U.S. military on Wednesday.

“We have a deep history of mobilizing to respond to tragedies across the globe and have committed to help these children. We view ourselves as a global force for children and each and every day we bring love to the rescue of children around the world,” the executive explained.

Rocha, several years earlier, said Shriners International in Tampa worked to bring several children that were severely burned in an orphanage during a fire, adding that the institution's relationship with Guatemala is strong.

Guatemala Shriners is under the jurisdiction of the Egypt Shriners, which is based in Tampa.

Guatemala's Fuego volcano erupted Sunday, causing a fast-moving avalanche of superheated muck that roared into the tightly knit villages on the mountain’s flanks, devastating entire families.

At least 75 people have died since the eruption.

Other organizations have also pledged to help the victims of the volcano.

"We have a Jeep ready. We have medical supplies. We’ll go to the furthest area where no one is, and we’ll just start helping people," said Alison Thompson, the founder of Third Wave Volunteers mission.

Lourdes Sanchez-Breton, founder of United Badges of Honor said: "We're going to be taking 1000 of these respirator masks that are going to help the people of Guatemala with their respiratory system from airborne particles."

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