Gharam is one of our longest running cases. We first met her in October 2015, and have been working on providing the medical treatment that she needs for just under two years. At that point Gharam’s mobility was extremely restricted by the severe burns on her neck and left arm. The girl we see today proudly tells us: “I can do anything now!”
When Gharam was just seven years old she was burnt by hot water in a village. A thermos of scorching hot coffee dropped on her after the shock of a nearby explosion.
Gharam's grandmother immediately tried to help her by putting her under cold water, but the damage had already occurred. Gharam had severe burns – particularly on her neck and left arm.
Gharam was treated in Syria, but the hospital there did not have the capacity to treat a case as severe as hers. In the hope of finding additional treatment for the third and fourth degree burns and to escape the worsening situation in Syria, her family decided to flee to Lebanon, where they found a small two-bedroom apartment that they share with their three uncles.
Gharam’s INARA journey
We introduced Gharam to INARA board member Dr Ghassan Abu-Sittah at the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC). He warned us that, without surgery, the burn scar on Gharam’s neck would eventually cause it to be permanently stuck in one position. It had been two years since the accident and the case was very severe.
Her first surgery to release the contractions on her neck was in October 2015. It was a complicated surgery and took her many months to recover. She was accompanied by her INARA caseworker to every single follow-up.
By December 2016, Gharam was ready for her neck surgery, to remove the scar that restricted the movement on her left arm. This surgery was also a success.
“I am much better now,” Gharam tells us. In the two years since we have met her she’s grown into a tall twelve year old girl. Since INARA provided her treatment, the family’s financial worries have subsided somewhat, enough for them to be able to send her to school, where she is currently learning French.
Movement has been completely restored to both her neck and her arm. “Before I couldn’t stretch my left arm,” she tells us. “Now I can move it again. Also my neck too. Before I used to be bent over when I walked. Now I can walk straight!”
Her mother describes the relief that she feels knowing that her young daughter doesn’t have to face a life of permanent disability. “I am so happy. I did not expect this at all. We came as refugees and had no idea that we would be provided treatment for Gharam. Now she is fine and at school again. Thank you!”
Many of INARA’s cases, like Gharam’s, take many years of hard work to ensure that their mobility is fully restored and that the children can live as normal a life as possible. We can only do this kind of work with your help. By donating to INARA today you can make a real difference to the lives of refugee children who are in Lebanon and are desperately in need of medical support.
UNICEF contributed to Gharam's treatment.