Nada Arwa Damon CNN Syrian Refugee INARA

Nada refuses to smile for the camera. She just peers sorrowfully into the lens.

Three year old Nada is Syrian but was born far from the war zone her parents fled. Her whole life she has lived in a tent. Late last year, she was horribly burnt after a terrifying accident.

The burning tent

One day, Nada’s family were preparing tea outside. As the fire roared over the water, bringing it to a boil, embers of the fire caught the tent. Nada was inside, playing by herself.  

When her father realised the tent was on fire he screamed for his daughter to get out. The burning nylon of the tent had already caught onto her skin, and she was screaming in agony. As she ran out, she fell into the boiling pot of tea, adding to her injuries.

The damage was severe. The left side of her chest is completely deformed by her burns. There is a mass of skin covering that extends over and covers it.

The start of her INARA journey

Doctors at the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC) have warned that if she does not get an operation at a young age, she will not be able to develop properly once she goes through puberty.

Thanks to kind donations from all of our supporters, we have booked this surgery in.

“She is rarely the smiley girl that she used to be”

Her father, Adnan, explains to us that the injury has really affected his young daughter. “Before the accident she was a chubby and happy little girl. Now she has lost a lot of weight. Her body is weak. She is very rarely the smiley girl that she used to be.”

Nada Syrian refugee helped by Arwa Damon INARA

The family fled Aleppo four years ago. The constant bombings became too much for them to handle, and with his wife pregnant, Adnan wanted to make sure that his newborn daughter would be safe away from the horrors of war.

“We have friends here who sympathise with the misery we’ve been through,” he explains. “We came to Lebanon because the Lebanese are fellow Arabs. We thought that they would understand our situation.” The family still live in a tent, and struggle to get by on the assistance offered by other humanitarian organisations.

Her father says that the surgery that we will pay for will have a huge impact on his family. “I’m so happy that there are people like you in this world to help us.”

Update (November 30, 2016)

Nada recently had a follow-up where she was informed that she would need one further surgery. Although her first operation was a success, doctors had underestimated the amount of scar tissue on her chest. We will be funding one further surgery in order for her to develop properly as she gets older.