A 25-year-old burn victim who had her fingers amputated and is studying medicine is fighting for her right to practise as a doctor, because gloves for amputees are unavailable.
Natalia Treglia, who lives in the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina, suffered from bronchospasm as a baby and medics recommended that her parents buy a humidifier for the bedroom she shared with her older sister.
In September 1994, while sleeping in the bedroom, the humidifier short-circuited and started a fire.
Natalia’s seven-year-old sister woke up and ran to the parents’ room but when they returned to get Natalia they saw that she’d suffered horrendous burns.
“Luckily, I was only two-years-old at the time and have no memory of the fire,” said the medical student who currently lives with her father in Buenos Aires.
Natalia underwent numerous surgical procedures and skin grafts and at one point doctors were concerned that she may never see again.
Experts detected an infection in the young girl’s fingers which they feared could spread to her arms.
A decision was made to amputate all her fingers except for the thumbs.
Because of this Natalia was bullied during her school years but she never gave up and started a photo blog in 2015 where she uploaded images of herself with the hashtags, #Sexy, #NotPerfect, #StopBullying.
Despite being bullied Natalia went on to study medicine. But her medical studies hit an obstacle during anatomy class when she had to cut the fingers off the latex gloves she used and realised that they’d never be sufficiently sterilised. It meant she couldn’t finish her course.
She spent 18 months approaching companies in Argentina and China about manufacturing adapted gloves made from a mould of her hands.
Natalia later decided to use Instagram to post unfiltered images of herself showing her burns and quickly grew a following sympathetic to her challenges. She’s received messages of support from people in Argentina, Peru, Brazil, America and Saudi Arabia.
Let’s hope she finds a solution that allows her to finish her studies and make her dream of becoming a doctor come true.
Sources: Magazine Features