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“Let me give an example of how I feel now,” Nabil says, a large smile on his face. “Before I had my glass eye I felt like someone in prison. Now that I have my glass eye, I finally have my freedom.”

Caught in crossfire

Nabil worked with his brother at a vegetable market and would deliver vegetables to houses. Life was ongoing in his town in Syria at the time because the war had only just begun. Nabil was 12 at the time. One day, as he was walking along with his vegetable delivery, he suddenly started to hear the noise of gunshots and explosions. Then he heard a whistling noise, and that was the last thing he remembered.

He woke up and his entire body was numb. He sought refuge in a nearby building and called his brother. Once the fighting died down his brother came and took Nabil to the nearest hospital.

That whistling noise he heard was a bomb which fell right next to Nabil. Shrapnel punctured his head in two places. The injuries left Nabil blind in his left eye. “All I could see was a yellow light,” he told us. While he was in the hospital in Syria, one piece of shrapnel was removed. However, before he could get the second removed, his family made the difficult decision to leave their home behind and to look for safety across the border in Lebanon.

The headaches

Following the accident, Nabil suffered from agonizing headaches. The headaches were so bad for Nabil that his family had to take him to a hospital in Lebanon. There, they explained that the headaches were caused by the injury to his left eye, and they insisted that he would need to have it removed, along with the second piece of shrapnel.

The surgery took place, but his headaches continued, and would leave him physically exhausted by the pain every single day.

Finding INARA

Nabil’s mother was told about INARA by someone in their neighborhood. She called and we arranged for Nabil to come in for an appointment at the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC). Doctors informed us that Nabil would need to be fitted with a glass eye to prevent the left eye socket from shrinking, which is the cause of his painful headaches.

Life with his glass eye

Once this was fitted for him, life changed dramatically for Nabil. “I feel normal again,” he tells us. Before he rarely left home, and now his mother jokes that she never sees him anymore.

“I didn’t know how beautiful life is because I was always hiding away in pain,” he admits. “Now I have new friends. I can look them in the eye now – I don’t need to hide my face from people. Most people don’t even notice that I have a glass eye.”

Your donations help us to change lives – and Nabil’s story is testament to what an impact your donations can have. There are many Syrian refugee children in Lebanon that still need urgent help. Do something amazing today and donate.

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