burns

Life and death at sea

I am walking alone along a boardwalk by the sea after disembarking 417 passengers in Italy. I am trying to process the events of the last three days and feel numb. I am holding onto the handrail on a flat, straight path because somehow the rhythm and texture are making me feel grounded and I realize that even though there are cars whizzing by to my left and the sea crashing on the shore to my right, compared to the noises of the boat over the last few days, it sounds close to silence to me. 

Fuel Burns

Picture the effects of having a vegetable peeler applied to someone’s buttocks, plus or minus the backs of the legs, penis, testicles, and back.  That’s what it looks like when some has fuel burns.

Fuel burns are actually a chemical burn rather than a thermal burn.  Working as a doctor aboard the MV Aquarius, a search and rescue vessel run jointly by MSF and SOS Mediterranee, I’ve seen enough of these burns in the past 4 months to last a lifetime.