Sara INARA Syrian refugee Arwa Damon

“What you did for us, I used to dream of…”

Khadija was worried about her daughter Sara's future. Boiling water had scalded her arm. The family didn’t have money to pay for treatment, and Khadija did not know who to turn to. After months of searching for medical care, she was finally put in touch with INARA, who paid for Sara's surgery to prevent permanent joint damage to her arm.

Sara's accident

When Sara was just one, Khadija and her husband went to work. The family are poor and both parents had no choice but go to work while their children stay at home during the day. Sara’s three sisters, aged between five and eight, were put in charge of Sara, who has just a baby at the time.

While the children played together, a pot of scalding water spilled on Sara’s arms. None of them knew how to call for help, and so they waited for their parents to come, whilst Sara screamed in agony.

By the time Khadija came home, Sara was exhausted from screaming for hours. Her burns were angry and sore looking.

“It really affected me,” said Khadija. “I wasn’t home when the accident happened. I felt guilty. My heart used to burn when she cried.”

"We went from place to place looking for help"

The family didn’t have the money to get her into a good hospital in Lebanon for the complicated surgery she needed, and so they had to rely on uncertified doctors to alleviate the pain. When we first met Sara’s father he expressed his frustration: “The only treatments we could afford only made her arm worse.”

“We went from place to place looking for help before we found INARA,” says Khadija. Eventually, Sara’s case was referred by UNHCR to InterSOS - who then referred it onto INARA.

The medical help we provided

We booked in Sara’s surgery at the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC). The surgery cost $4,440, slightly higher than the average INARA medical treatment.

Sara Syrian refugee child medical INARA Arwa Damon

Her operation required both plastic and orthopedic components, and she also needed a special prosthesis to elongate her veins. Reconstructive surgeon Dr Amir Ibrahim and orthopedic surgeon Dr Said Saghieh worked together to operate on Sara.

How this operation has helped Sara

Sara is much happier now. “She can do whatever she wants,” says Khadija. “She couldn’t even open a door before. She would often wet herself and sit in for hours. She hated it. Now she can get dressed alone, and go to the bathroom alone.”

She is physically able to go to school now!

When asked about how INARA helped their family, Khadija gushed: “What you did for us, nobody could. We went from place to place looking for help before we found INARA. What you did for us, I used to dream of.  You provided me with everything. You took my daughter to the best hospital and to the best doctors so that nothing could go wrong. The service you offered was more important than rent or food - it was a service for a child to be able to move properly and function again.”