“They saved my life, but now your life is full of misery.”
Mr. Fu sustained severe electrical burns over 89% of his body, and although doctors only gave him 8% chance of survival, he beat the odds and made it after 75 days of hospitalization. He and his wife thought that hospital discharge was the end of the ordeal, but they never imagined that it would be the beginning of a long struggle towards recovery.
“We thought that being discharged from the hospital meant everything was fine.”
After hospital discharge, due to the severity of the injury and the need for wound care, the social worker of Sunshine Foundation recommended that Mr. Fu undergo daily rehabilitation at Sunshine’s Taipei Rehabilitation Center and stay at Sunshine Half-Way House to receive proper wound care and independent living training. But Mr. Fu didn’t want to go to the Half-Way House and insisted on going home. This meant that his wife had to handle daily wound care, but because there were too many wounds, the whole process of showering and dealing with wounds and blisters would take over 5 hours each day. After one month, wound care became the last straw that almost pushed husband and wife to the brink.
Ms. Fu remembers how one day, while applying ointment on wounds, her husband screamed in pain: “It hurts! Why did I survive just to be in so much pain? Let's just die together and put an end to this. They saved my life, but now your life is full of misery.” That’s when she decided that they had endured enough and that it would be better for her husband to go to Sunshine Half-Way House. There, he would receive professional wound care and he would benefit from peer support of other burn survivors, which would be beneficial to his speedy recovery. Mr. Fu relented and began commuting between the Half-Way House and the Rehabilitation Center. At the same time, husband and wife benefited from counseling by Sunshine’s psychological counselor to help them deal with negative emotions that built up over time.
Mr. Fu used to work in construction: “I used to be as strong as an ox, but now I was weaker than an ant.” Something as simple as holding chopsticks to eat became impossible. Despite this kind of setback, Mr. Fu didn’t give up and put 120% of efforts into rehabilitation. “When I thought about my wife and my kids, the only thing I could focus on was to get better as soon as possible because I had to get back to my old life.” Ms. Fu remembers: “If it hadn’t been for the help and support we received from Sunshine, we probably wouldn’t be here today. We would simply have sunk into our despair. That’s why we want to give back to other burn survivors.”
A burn doesn’t just affect the person who was injured, the whole family is affected as well. Family members are the most important thing that can help burn survivors keep going despite the pain and difficulties of rehabilitation, that is why Sunshine offers comprehensive services to help burn survivors and their family go through this ordeal and return to a normal life.