The Boy Who Needed the World's Best Care
Updated: May 31
Three-year-old Deried was watching his father fix the family’s old motorcycle in rural Limón Province, Costa Rica, when the explosion happened.
The nearest water was a puddle on the ground, and frantic onlookers rolled him in it to extinguish the flames. With severe burns and bacterial infections from the groundwater, the little boy had injuries too critical for his local hospital to handle.
If there is a silver lining to Deried's story, it is this: His family was able to travel about 100 miles the next day to the capital city, San José, for treatment at Hospital Nacional de Niños, which partners with Physicians for Peace.
Many caregivers there had not only trained with PFP but have taught and presented burn-care techniques at the international level. Deried spent 22 days in Intensive Care before improving enough to join other pediatric patients in the hospital, where he continues to bounce back daily.
A Global Circle of Support
At his bedside, Deried had an all-star visit: not only by his own burn team, but by medical experts from Shriners Children's Boston, one of North America's top pediatric hospitals, in town for on-site training sponsored by PFP.
"Our days at the hospital have been truly wonderful and eye-opening," says Shriners occupational therapist Jessica Willoughby. "I find it awesome that we're able to collaborate and educate—and it’s not just us educating, but the team in Costa Rica educating us as well. Sharing combined knowledge, so that we can provide better burn care to patients across the world."
Nurse Kara Sher and surgeon Carlos Duran, MD, were also on hand from Shriners Boston. Kara, who had taught virtually for PFP during the pandemic, was especially happy that hands-on volunteering is back. "I'm totally humbled and grateful," she says, "to be able to come in person and represent the mission of Physicians for Peace."