GALVESTON, Texas – Burn victims from Guatemala have arrived in Galveston to be treated at Shriners Pediatric Burn Hospital.
These children were badly injured when the Volcan de Fuego erupted. The children were airlifted from Guatemala and flown 1,500 miles in a U.S. military plane arrived at Scholes Field just before 5 a.m. Thursday.
The children will receive state of the art treatment at Shriners Hospital’s Pediatric Burn Center.
Several ambulances were on standby to immediately transport the children, ages 1 to 16. Three medical teams accompanied the them with their five guardians on the plane, including a critical care and burn team.
Hospital officials began working with Guatemalan and U.S. officials to mobilize this effort within 24 hours of the disaster, so the victims would be able to get immediate treatment and care.
Their families will also get on-site housing.
The six children are just a handful of victims out of hundreds. Right now, the situation in Guatemala is still very dire.
At least 99 people have been killed and hundreds more are still missing as rescue and search efforts continue.
These children were placed in intensive care unit at the hospital.
As for the doctors here, they’re all very experienced when it comes to treating burn victims and dealing with mass casualty situations.
When asked, how they emotionally process tough situations like this, here’s what they had to say.
“You know it’s really hard, and you say, oh gosh, this is horrible. Right? But we didn’t do it to them, and these kids need help. And we also know from experience that the outcomes can be much better than people expect from the get go,” Dr. Steven E. Wolf, chief of staff at Shriners Hospital for Children-Galveston, said Thursday morning.
All the kids were severely burned from hot ash clouds that spewed out of the volcano.
Now, these children still have a long road to recovery. Most are on ventilators right now.
But good news is they are now safe in the hands of caring hospital staff members here at Shriners.
Guatemala suspends volcano rescue effort
Guatemala's national disaster agency says it's suspending rescue efforts at the zone devastated by the eruption of the Volcano of Fire.
Rains have been hitting the area and the agency says climatic conditions as well as the still-hot volcanic material deposited on the villages makes it dangerous for the rescuers.
It says it decided to suspend the search now that 72 hours have passed. That's the length of time officials had said earlier that some victims might have survived.
It urged people to stay away from the area.
Guatemalan officials say that 99 people are confirmed dead, with many more still missing.