"Feeling safe is priceless"

  • Emergency
  • Rehabilitation
  • Jordan
  • Syria

Mohamad, 9, was badly injured when his house in Syria was bombed. After initially struggling to adapt to his situation, he is now back at school and enjoying his studies.

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Mohamaed, 9, who lost his leg in a bombing in Syria
Mohamaed, 9, who lost his leg in a bombing in Syria

When the war started in Syria, Mohamad's mother Zhoor sent her son to Jordan to live with his grandparents. But after a year away, Mohamad, 9, missed his family and returned to Syria. Not long after arriving home, Zhoor and Mohamad's life changed forever.

“Three days after he arrived, our house was bombed,” Zhoor explains. Curled up under a blanket, Mohamad listens quietly as his mother tells his story.

Immediately after the explosion, Zhoor ran to her son. “I saw his leg completely burned and riddled with shrapnel. My aunt who was sitting close by Mohamad, died instantly. One of my other sons had what looked like a head injury. You could see blood on his face, covered with dust.”

"When I saw my son...I fainted"

Mohamad was rushed to Ramtha hospital in Jordan, where doctors amputated his leg. “I had to stay in Syria to look after my other children so Mohamad’s uncle went with him. He didn’t tell me that my son’s leg had been amputated. He didn’t want me to suffer more than I already did,” recalls Zhoor.

One month later, Zhoor, her husband, and their other children arrived in Jordan. They visited Mohamad in the hospital and that’s when they discovered the truth. “When I saw my son with only one leg, I fainted,” she said. “It was such a shock. It was awful.”

Mohamad stayed in the hospital for several more weeks. It was during that time that he was introduced to Handicap International staff, who gave him a prosthesis and physical therapy.

His mother explains, “in the beginning, it was very difficult for him to adapt to his new condition. I kept trying to encourage him. Telling him that one day, he would walk again.”

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Mohamad, 9, with his family and a Handicap International staff member© Elisa Fourt/Handicap International

Now he insists on walking to school

Thanks to the rehabilitation sessions and new leg, Mohamad has made great progress and now walks to school every morning.

“I wanted a taxi to take him, because the school is over a mile from where we live, but he refused,” adds his mother. “It takes him a long time to get there, but he likes to be able to walk with his cousins, who are in the same class.”

Mohamad is a very good student who loves to study. “My favorite subject is Arabic,” Mohamad says shyly.

His mother adds, beaming with a smile, “My son is very intelligent. I admire him for being so determined. Not only does he walk to school, but he also often plays football with his friends.”

"The feeling of being safe is priceless"

“Mohamad is the main reason we’ve stayed in Jordan. In Syria, there were no accessible health centres. My priority is my children’s well being. Here, daily life isn’t easy, and we’re totally dependent on humanitarian organizations, but we’re not risking our lives."

"When Mohamad or his brothers and sisters leave the house, I’m not scared. In Syria, we spent our time fleeing bombs. Even if our situation in Jordan is precarious, the feeling of being safe is priceless.”

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Published 18/05/17

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