“I can go to school again. I can play with my friends again. I can move my arms properly now,” Rana explains to us with a big grin on her face while she plays in a park in Beirut.
Her grandmother watches her from a distance. The sun beats down on the park but Rana doesn’t seem bothered by the heat. “She just wants to run around and do the things she couldn’t before,” her grandmother tells us. “I’ve seen her engaging with other people more now that she’s had her surgery. She smiles more. We all have noticed that she is physically, emotionally and psychologically better.”
“I can still hear her screams ringing in my ears”
Three years ago, when Rana was only three years old, an accident meant that she could barely move her arms. Her mother, Siham, was cooking for her family in their small town in Syria. She heard the noise of jets heading towards them and dread settled into her stomach. She felt the ground rumble beneath her as bombs began to barrage their town.
Rana doesn’t remember much about the accident. But her mother is still haunted every day by what she can only describe as the most terrifying night of her life.
After the first few bombs went off, her children were panicked and wanted to get out of their house. In the chaos, a boiling vat of water on the mother’s stove fell all over Rana, burning the entirety of her arms and chest.
“Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and can still hear Rana’s screams ringing in my ears,” says Siham.
The rockets continued to barrage their town. The blasts battled their senses, as Rana screamed in agony. Siham and her husband did not know what to do. They desperately wanted to get Rana to hospital, but the bombs outside kept raining down on their hometown. In desperation, they applied yogurt onto Rana’s burns.
When the bombs finally died down six hours later, the family rushed Rana to their local hospital. She received an emergency treatment at the time, but needed further treatments. The family couldn’t live any longer in their town after the horrors of that night, and, fearing for their lives, fled to Lebanon.
What we did for Rana
Rana first came to us because we treated her cousin, Ghazala. When we first met Rana, the scars on her arms and chest were tight. She could barely move underneath her arms because her flesh was stuck together around her armpit, restricting her movement.
We offered her scar revision surgery with our doctors at the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC). After this successful surgery, Rana was put in a brace to cover her scars. We also purchased two splints that helped to reverse the damage to her underarms, freeing up the movement.
How the INARA treatment has changed her life
Rana is back at school. Whereas she was once shy and conscious about the burns on her arms, she now has newfound confidence and a huge amount of energy. “Now she has no more limitations and because of that she feels so much more confident,” says her grandmother.
The family have a tough life as refugees in Lebanon. They live in a three room house, sharing it with 18 people. It’s the only way they can afford to live. They all miss their old house in Syria.
But Rana’s grandmother tells us that INARA’s service has helped their family so much. “Now we feel like, whatever happens, we can still do the things we loved to do before. We don’t have to think about Rana’s limited range of motions and abilities.”
100% of donations to INARA go towards refugee children like Rana. If you want to help a child like Rana, you can. All you need to do is click donate below and you can bring about a positive change in their life.