Mahdia school girl back home, to receive further care at GPHC


After receiving intense, highly-specialised treatment at a hospital in the United States, young Mariza Williams has returned to Guyana with her parents and will be further receiving treatment at the Georgetown Public Hospital.

Mariza was one of several persons who were injured in the horrific Mahdia female dormitory fire that claimed the lives of 19 girls and one five-year-old boy.

In fact, about 40% of her body was burnt and she required specialised treatment – care she could not receive at the Georgetown Public Hospital, Guyana’s main referral hospital. So she was medevaced to the Regional Burn Center at Northwell Health, Staten Island University Hospital and there she spent the last three months receiving care.

Head of the Burn Care Unit at the Georgetown Hospital Dr. Shilindra Rajkumar explained exactly what specialised care she received.

“She would’ve required what is called surgical debridement, which is removing that burnt skin surgically.

“The skin is a protective barrier to infection so if you remove that amount of skin she would have been at risk of infection, there is also the risk of bleeding involved with such an extensive debridement and we were not confident that we can support someone with that degree of burn, that degree of debridement and the risk of infection,” Dr. Rajkumar explained.

Aside from treating her physical injuries, the teenager received psychological support that was needed because of the ordeal she grappled with. Her parents joined her in the United States and they too received mental health support.

Max Williams, Mariza’s father, told the News Room that he is happy she was able to get the treatment she needed and that they are all back home now.

Now that she is back home, Mariza will get further treatment at the Georgetown hospital. Health Minister Dr. Frank Anthony promised that the girl will be taken care of fully.

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