A 13-year-old Syrian boy who was seriously injured by a mortar in the Quneitra region three months ago as a result of the ongoing civil war in Syria was brought to Israel for surgery and fitted with a prosthetic leg that will allow him to walk again. The boy is set to return to Syria on Sunday.
The boy, who dreams of playing soccer and basketball as well as 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 many Israeli Arab families. As he began to heal, his supporters 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 Haifa Zar’at al-Carmel. “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.”