“Our life in Lebanon is difficult, but at least I can sleep here knowing that my family won’t be at risk of dying in an airstrike the next day,” Ziad’s father says when he first meets us.
He sits with his ten-year old son, who is quietly drawing on a piece of paper, completely consumed. We offer him some Arabic sweets and he politely says “thank you”, as his father starts to open up and describe the day that Ziad was injured.
Three years ago, Ziad was at his home in Syria. It was a day like any other, and the family sat in front of the fireplace trying to keep warm. There was a fuel shortage at the time due to the ongoing fighting in the area, and so the family bought benzene.
When an airstrike landed on their street, their fireplace exploded. The damage to the house was huge, and Ziad and his mother were both badly injured in the fire – Ziad’s arm was severely burnt, as was his mother’s face and chest.
There were no working hospitals nearby to them, and they had heard that the nearest hospital was running low on supplies because of the war. The treatment that Ziad and his mother needed seemed impossible to find in Syria. The family had no other choice but to treat these horrific burns with basic ointments, as that was all they could find.
Life as refugees in Lebanon
Ziad’s father had been working in Lebanon for years. When he heard about what happened to his child and wife, he helped them to cross the border into Lebanon, where they now live as refugees.
His father works as a concierge in a building. They were given a small room with a bathroom and kitchen. Their living conditions are cramped. “I won’t complain,” his father explains. “We are still better than most of the Syrian people who live here as refugees.”
Finding help for Ziad
Because Ziad couldn’t get the medical assistance he needed in Syria, the burns on his arm hardened around his elbow, severely restricting his movement. “His arm movement is really not good,” his father explains as he lifts Ziad’s long-sleeve t-shirt up. “Simple tasks for a child like playing are painful for him.”
The family struggle financially, and cannot afford the expensive treatment that Ziad needs. His father was one day told about INARA by a friend, whose son Ammar had received treatment thanks to our help. He called, hoping that he would finally find someone who could help his family.
We introduced Ziad to doctors at the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC) who informed us that he would need a simple scar-revision surgery on his arm. This would restore full functionality to his arm and allow Ziad to play again without pain.
Ziad’s father now feels relieved about his son’s future. “All I wish for my son is that he will be healthy and get a good education,” he tells us. Despite the pain he is often in, Ziad still goes to school and doesn’t let his injury prevent him from learning. We’re hoping that Ziad’s future will be a lot brighter, thanks to your donations to help refugee children from Syria who are in desperate need of life-altering medical treatment. There are plenty of other children like Ziad who need help – and we can only do the incredible and transformative work that we do with your help.