Amjad refugee from Syria in refugee camp in Lebanon

“You saved my son’s future,” Amjad’s mother, Hivine, tells us in the INARA office. She is with her son as we explain that his medical treatment is now completed, just over a year after we first met him.

Amjad and his family fled Syria five years ago, and live in a tent in the north of Lebanon. It was this very tent that caught fire and injured their young son at the start of 2016.

The accident that Amjad’s mother will never forget

The day that Amjad was hurt was like any other. “Nothing was out of the ordinary,” his mother explains. “The children were hungry so I decided to cook for the family. My children were in the tent, playing together. I was using the gas to cook. The faucet was stuck, and gas pumped out. My eldest child had a lighter in his hand and the next thing I knew, the tent was on fire.”

In that moment, Hivine doesn’t remember much. She explains to us how her instinct was to do anything she could to save her children inside the tent. “I ran in. Most of my children had managed to get out straight away, but Amjad was at the back. He was screaming. His feet were on fire. By the time I got to him, he had fainted from the pain.”

His toes were fused together

The family rushed Amjad to the nearest hospital to them. His burns were so bad that they were told he would have to stay there for four months. Amjad’s father tells us that the doctors didn’t know what to do with Amjad, and just kept him medicated.

After the accident, he couldn’t walk properly. His balance was off and he would fall over often. In addition, the burns on his feet were painful and sore. He couldn’t run around with his brothers like he used to and this upset the young boy.

INARA’s help

When we took Amjad to doctors at the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC) they confirmed that the small boy didn’t receive the care that he needed at the hospital. His feet were bound together in bandages. Because of this, his toes have fused together.

With your donations, we paid for a surgery to free up his toes. For three weeks after, Amjad needed to rest and had to try to avoid using his feet. But after that, and with regular follow-ups at AUBMC, his feet healed fast, and Amjad is now back to normal.

Amjad with his brother

Amjad with his brother

A happier and healthier life for Amjad

Now Amjad loves nothing more than playing with his siblings. His mother tells us that she can barely get him to stay still anymore. Not only that, but Amjad feels a lot more confident. “Before his surgery some of the children who live near us wouldn’t let him play with them and told him that he wasn’t normal. This doesn’t happy anymore now thanks to this surgery.”

Because he can walk properly and is no longer in pain whenever he steps his feet down, he can now go back to school. He counts to ten in French for us and gets a standing ovation from the INARA staff and his mother.

Not only that, but his family feel a huge sense of relief that their son’s problems have been fixed. “I’m much happier,” Hivine tells us. “Actually everyone in my family is happier now. Before we would be scared to spend money on food in case we could have put some money aside for Amjad’s surgery. Now we don’t have to worry about this.”

The family were glowing when talking about the treatment that they received from INARA. At first they were skeptical about whether or not their son would get the medical help he needed: “I didn’t trust you at first because no organization had helped us before, it was all empty promises. But after you did exactly what you promised when we first met I knew I could trust INARA and I thank you for that.”