6 children burned in Guatemalan volcano receive treatment at Shriners Hospital in Galveston
GALVESTON, Texas – Officials gave an updated Monday on the conditions of the six children burned in the Guatemala volcano eruption who arrived last week at Shriners Hospital for Children in Galveston.
Of the six patients, four are in critical condition, and two are in good condition.
An aeromedical evacuation team, pediatric intensive care team and guardians of the children accompanied them Thursday. Shriners Hospital sent an emergency medical team to Guatemala from Galveston 24 hours after the disaster.
A U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III aircraft left Guatemala around 2 a.m. with the children, who are listed in critical condition.
The children arrived at the Scholes International Airport in Galveston around 4:40 a.m. The victims, along with five of their guardians, were taken to Shriners to the pediatric burn center for treatment. They are all in the ICU with life-threatening burn injuries.
Dr. Steven Wolf is the chief of staff at Shriners Galveston and said the children were severely burned from ash clouds. Essentially, the dirt in Guatemala was heated to thousands of degrees from the volcanic eruption.
While most of the children are on ventilators, Wolf said the two he spoke with were shocked, but heavily sedated.
The whole treatment process could take years and typically could cost $1 million per child, but the good news for these kids is they aren't going to have to pay for any of it.
"Once you get in this building, you are ours until you are 18," Wolf said. "We take care of all these children and we don't expect them to pay for it."
The medical team will provide care including surgery, rehabilitation and psychological support.
While the names of the victims will remain confidential, Wolf said the children range in age from 1 to 16.
Shriners Hospital will also provide housing for the guardians while the kids are in the hospital.
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