“Every time we walk in the street, we know that people stare at Fadi’s face,” his father explains. “They often whisper to each other.”
Fadi’s father makes sure his nine-year old son has a scarf or a hoodie to wear to hide his scars from people. “They help him because not as many people look at him so he doesn’t feel as embarrassed.”
The airstrike in Syria
Fadi was playing alone with his cousin in the house. It was a warm day in Syria, and his mother and siblings were outside. Suddenly, the all-too familiar sound of a rocket was heard - but this time it was a lot closer. Everyone ran for cover, but Fadi didn’t make it out of the house in time.
His face and chest were badly burnt, and his father didn’t know what to do. “There was one thing that was certain: we had to leave Syria. Bombs were falling down on us like rain. If we wanted our family to live, we had to leave.”
Searching for help
The father decided that Turkey was the best option for his family, and so they fled across the border looking for medical attention for their young son. His burns were so severe that his neck and chest were fused together by painful scars that arch his neck.
They managed to get a surgery booked in for him, but it was unsuccessful. “When Fadi’s surgery went wrong, we were lost again. We didn’t know who else to turn to in Turkey. I thought maybe we could find help in Lebanon…”
So the family left Turkey. The only way that they could make it to Lebanon was to go back into Syria. They feared for their lives as they crossed the border back into the country that was once their home and was now full of so many painful memories.
When they finally made it to Lebanon, they found a place to live in the mountains. The whole family are crammed into one small room. Despite this they are thankful to not hear the noise of rockets, or feel the fear that at any point they could die.
How INARA will help
The family were told to get in touch with INARA by their friend, whose daughter Zeinab received treatment through us. We took Fadi to meet our team of doctors at the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC), who told the family how they will help him.
Firstly Fadi will need to wear a garment. This will make the scarring on his neck more tender, in preparation for a scar release surgery on his neck. After this he will need to wear a brace on his neck, so the scarring doesn’t fuse again. After months of treatment, Fadi’s mobility will be completely restored - allowing him to lead a happier and healthier life.
His father has high hopes for his son’s future. “Once he gets this treatment nothing will be able to stop him. He tells us that he wants to be a doctor and to help children who have been injured. He knows what this feels like and is so grateful to the doctors who are helping him.”
Fadi is one of many refugee children from Syria that are based in Lebanon who need urgent medical treatment. You can help others by donating to INARA today.
UNICEF contributed to Fadi's treatment.