“When the doctors sat me down and told me that Jad had clubfoot I couldn’t stop crying,” his mother Yara tells us with tears in her eyes. “Whenever a doctor has tried to talk to me since I’ve burst into tears.”
Launching INARA’s orthopedics project
Jad is just a few months old, and will be the first of INARA’s orthopedic cases. As announced on May 3, INARA has launched a new project to help refugee children who have clubfoot or developmental dislocation of the hip (DDH).
Children with such conditions in Syria would have been able to access free or discounted treatment. However, due to the war they are now unable to do so. There are currently no humanitarian organizations within Lebanon that provide treatment for such orthopedic conditions regularly. The medical treatment needed is lengthy and expensive, and the majority of the refugee population in Lebanon would not be able to afford such treatment.
‘There was an air of depression in our apartment’
Both of Jad’s parents are refugees from Syria, who fled the country into Syria to escape the ongoing war. The family had no water or electricity in the city that they lived, and work was becoming harder and harder to find. Jad’s father came to Lebanon first to look for a place to live and work, and his wife followed shortly after.
In Lebanon the family of eight live in two small rooms in the mountains. They struggle financially, especially after Jad’s father lost four fingers in a work accident. The medical bills were expensive, and ever since he has struggled to find work in Lebanon.
Things started to look up for the family when Yara became pregnant. They saw this as a blessing from God. It was a chance for them to start afresh and come together as a family to help raise a new child.
But since they were told the news about Jad’s clubfoot it’s been hard for the family to stay positive. “When we came home with the news from the doctor there was an air of depression in our apartment.”
Desperately searching for help
Yara and her husband went to the hospital to try and see what they could do, but were told lots of different things. They were confused, and they didn’t know what to do. They also knew that this treatment would cost them a lot of money, which they did not have. They worried that their newly born son would face disability in his future and it filled them with anxiety.
It was at this point they met with Doctor Taha at the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC), who we have been working closely with on our orthopedics project.
He explained the treatment needed for children with clubfoot at this age. Firstly, over the next five to eight weeks Jad would need a series of casts. Following that he would likely need to undergo tenotomic surgery – which involves cutting the tendons – although there is a small chance that Jad would not need this. Following this, Jad would need one last cast for the following three weeks. At this stage, the child would be given a Dennis Brown brace until he is three or four years of age.
Relief for Yara
Ever since Yara was told about the treatment that INARA would be providing for Jad, she has felt much better. “It was such a relief when the doctors told me about this and explained that the treatment would start right away.”
She ended her meeting with INARA with a message to others whose children have been diagnosed with clubfoot: “I pray for those struggling with the condition my son has. I have been so lucky to meet INARA, and I have so many people to be thankful for who have donated to help people like me and my son.”