Adam is just twelve days old when we first meet him. He is absolutely tiny and has bright blue eyes that seem to be taking in the whole world that he only recently joined. His parents absolutely love him, and keep staring at their young son in amazement as they talk to their INARA caseworker.
Diagnosing Adam’s condition
As soon as Adam was born, doctors noticed that something wasn’t right. They immediately took him in for tests, where they diagnosed the young boy with clubfoot on both feet. His mother was devastated when she found out. “I couldn’t stop crying in front of the doctor, which wasn’t very nice. I was so upset. This situation is so difficult for us because we are refugees here in Lebanon. We wouldn’t be able to afford the treatment he needs.”
Were it not for the war, Adam’s family would have been able to access free or heavily discounted treatment for orthopedic deformities like clubfoot in Syria. However, the family had no choice but to leave their home behind and come to Lebanon if they were to survive.
“We were happy to have escaped Syria with our own skin on our backs,” Adam’s mother says, laughing. Her husband joins in with the laughter briefly, before becoming more serious. “For our entire lives we lived peacefully with our neighbors. But when the war broke out people became divided and started fighting each other. It was shocking. We had to leave. We had no choice.”
The family came to Lebanon very early in the war. They now rent out a small apartment in the north of Lebanon. Adam’s father has five children to support, but also is financially responsible for his mother, two sisters and brother back in Syria – who are desperate for help, given everything that they have lived through over the past six years. He works as a carpenter and tries to do as much work as possible, but the money doesn’t go very far.
How INARA can help
The doctor that first discovered that Adam had clubfoot told the family that they should get help at the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC). They contacted the hospital and a nurse informed the family that he knew that INARA might be able to help fund the treatment needed, passing on our number to the family.
They contacted us immediately and we booked in an appointment with the pediatric orthopedic doctor, Dr Taha. After being examined, we were informed that he will need five to eight weeks of casts. His cast will need to be changed once every week. After that, it is likely that he will need an Achilles tenotomy before a final cast is applied. He will then need to wear Dennis brown shoes for the next three to four years.
Since finding out that Adam will get the medical care he needs, his parents’ anxieties have begun to subside. “We know now that Adam will be able to walk as normal, and won’t be in pain. He’ll be able to go to school. We know that he is a very lucky boy because this whole time he has had God protecting him. He pointed us to you, and now our son is getting better.”
Adam is one of a select few children with orthopedic deformities that we will be helping through our new, time-limited project. You can read more about it here.