If 14-year old Sama doesn’t receive an urgent surgery in the next couple of months, she will be permanently paralysed. We need your help to prevent this.

When we first meet her she sits patiently with her parents, glancing from time to time at the clock ticking away, gripping her hands tightly. The reality that there is very little time left overwhelms her.

Sama has scoliosis – an abnormal curvature in the normally straight vertical line of the spine. This is something that Sama was likely born with.

When we introduce her to doctors at the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC) and hear her story, there is no doubt that her condition has been exacerbated by the war in Syria. The doctors told us that she might never have noticed her condition were it not for having to flee her country.

Sama’s condition was exacerbated by the war

Sama INARA Arwa Damon

When fighting broke out in their hometown, the family fled to an area called al-Bahdaliye. It took them five days to reach the area by foot. Sama remembers the whole family trying to carry as many belongings as they could. Her back suffered, and she cried a lot on the journey as she felt agonising stabbing pains in her lower back.

The sound of gunfire followed them. The whole family was terrified. Sama vividly remembers this. “Those scenes will never leave my mind. People were at the side of the road, screaming for help and dying. I was so afraid.”

Once they finally arrived at al-Bahdaliye, they found absolute slaughter and devastation. It was at the epicentre of violence, and they had no choice but to try and find somewhere else to go. So the family headed to the southern countryside near the border with Lebanon.

The only option they had was to flee once again, this time crammed in a car with 12 other people, driving as fast as they could out of Syria - leaving behind their friends, their house, their school, careers. Everything.

How INARA will help

Sama’s surgery is hugely complicated and expensive. Doctors will need to surgically correct her spine, and insert metal screws to make her spine straighter. It will cost over $45,000. But Sama’s family can’t afford this.

Sama’s family went to everyone to try and find help, but found no one. They family were eventually put in touch with us by local NGO Mousawat.

INARA will be paying for this operation – but urgently needs help in order to fund it. We are asking donors to really help out Sama by donating as generously as they can – in order to prevent this young girl from becoming permanently paralysed.

Life for Sama

Sama can no longer go to school as she’s in so much pain from her back.

She describes the boredom that she feels, sitting at home, doing nothing. All she does is wait. She cannot help but fear that the operation won’t happen – that she’ll become permanently paralysed. She longs for the day when she can open her eyes after the operation, and no longer have to live with this fear anymore.