Thursday, July 31, 2008

Do a good thing ... you'll be happy.

If you saw Katie Couric on CBS Nightly News tonight, you may have seen this story about Sgt. Joe Barzeski and the CSC Scania Burn Clinic.

"Conditions are primitive. But even so, the burn unit is filled to capacity. It's tucked away on a U.S. base that's known as the biggest gas station in Iraq. It's where military convoys refuel. While on the far side, Iraqi families - as many as 80 a day - wait patiently to be admitted to a clinic that's more MASH unit than E.R. Barzeski had no medical training before he joined the Army - so he's been learning on the job."

The patients at the Scania Burn Clinic are Iraqi children, and the clinic is staffed by soldiers, mostly without prior medical training, who volunteer to spend any off-duty time they get debriding burns, bandaging little limbs and comforting these children and their families, all on a dwindling supply of medical supplies.

The volunteers at Scania are using an amazingly successful treatment for their burn patients to prevent debilitating scarring. It includes an old home remedy ... honey. Specifically, an irradiated and sterilized product called medi-honey.

" 'There was a boy who came in my son's age, and he couldn't turn his waist because he had these painful keloids on his hips, and that's when I decided I was going to try and do something,' Barzeski said. He treats the patients with what he calls Mayo, a blend of steroids, antibiotics and something called medi-honey - spread on the bodies of little patients to help them re-grow healthy skin.

All the drugs and bandages often run dangerously low. They have to be donated - as the clinic can't draw on Army stock. 'Its against the medical rules of engagement,' Barzeski said. 'Since we don't cause the injury, we can't treat them with our supplies.' Despite chronic shortages, the clinic has treated more than 1,000 children. "

And that's where we come in. I'm asking you to watch this video, take down the addresses at the end, and then ... you know ... donate.


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