By Daniel Siryoti
A 13-year-old Syrian boy who was seriously injured by a mortar in Quneitra three months ago as a result of the ongoing civil war in his home country was brought to Israel for surgery and fitted with a prosthetic leg that will allow him to walk again.
The Syrian boy and Rambam Hospital physiotherapist Amar Mahmoud – Photo: Pyotr Pliter, Rambam Hospital Spokesperson’s Office
The boy, who dreams of playing soccer and basketball and finishing high school, lost his left leg below the knee and was gravely injured by shrapnel in his right thigh. He was brought to Rambam Hospital in Haifa due to limited treatment options in Quneitra.
At first, doctors fought for his life as he suffered from serious infections. His mother was permitted to stay by his side as he underwent a series of surgeries.
The young boy also had the support of the hospital’s pediatric surgery staff as well as that of many Israeli Arab families who helped both him and his mother.
As he began to heal, the people who had supported him and his mother decided they would help pay for a prosthesis that would help him walk. A local Israeli Arab nonprofit organization, Haifa Zar’at al-Carmel, also contributed to the cost of the prosthetic leg, as did the father of another child hospitalized at Rambam.
“We try to do everything for these children who don’t really have a home to return to,” said Issa Mahaja, who heads the nonprofit organization. “I am in touch with everyone who was hospitalized here and went back to Syria. Some have recovered and are doing fine, others are dealing with tremendous hardship and constantly running from battle areas.”
The boy is set to return to Syria on Sunday. He has spent the last few days working hard on learning to stand again, with the help of the hospital’s dedicated physiotherapist Amar Mahmoud. He has been encouraging the boy and assuring him that with hard work, nothing will stand in his way.
The boy’s mother remains concerned about their impending return to Syria, as doctors told her that without an additional surgery that can only be performed once he has regained more strength, her son is unlikely to walk without crutches. She hopes they will be permitted to return to Israel for the surgery next year.
View original Israel Hayom publication at: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=23971