BONN, Germany (AP) — By the time 8-year-old Selma Sisic flew out of Sarajevo last month, burned skin was peeling from her body. Doctors on the medevac could barely get an IV tube into her arm.
It took two days for officers at the U.S. Army hospital in Landstuhl, Germany, to find a European burn center that would take Selma.
As she lay close to death, a Belgian hospital gave the green light and she was rushed through the night aboard a helicopter by a crew without a map of Belgium.
But 16 hours later, Selma died.
Another Bosniak girl, 5-year-old Irma Hadzimuratovic, was clinging to life Thursday in a British hospital.
Although Britain has sent a medical team to evacuate 41 other emergency cases from Bosnia’s hospital, UNICEF officials are outraged it has taken so long to draw attention to the child victims of Bosnia’s civil war.
Further, they say they urgently need $31 million to care for the remaining 60,000 children in Sarajevo, many of them injured, all of them traumatized.
When John Jordan, a Rhode Island construction worker who leads Sarajevo’s 300-member volunteer fire department, found Selma at the shell-shattered Sarajevo hospital July 8, she had been there at least four days.
“The wounds were rotting on her body, everything but her eyes was bandaged,” he said. “The bandages were filthy.”