Abdullah’s mother looks tired as her child rubs his tear-streamed face in the hospital. “The moment he sees a doctor he cries until the moment he has to go to sleep,” she explains. “By then he’s absolutely exhausted.”
Abdullah’s life in Lebanon
Two year old Abdullah was born as a refugee from Syria here in Lebanon, far from the home his family lived in happily before the war.
“When the war started I had a horrible feeling. I just knew that our family wouldn’t be safe anymore,” his mother explains. They left early in 2013, just months before their area became ravaged by war.
The entire family live in a small, dusty tent in the south of Lebanon. They survive on very little money, and Abdullah’s older brothers work so that the family have enough money to eat.
His first steps
It was in this tent that Abdullah’s accident happened. “Abdullah was learning to walk. At the time I was boiling some milk on the gas stove we have placed outside on the floor as we do not have a decent oven in our tent and there is nowhere else for us to cook. As he was still learning how to walk he tripped and fell onto the boiling milk, burning his arm, chest and leg.”
The family rushed Abdullah to the nearest hospital. He stayed there for 22 days, but needed more time in the hospital. The family had run out of money by this point, and so had to take their child out of hospital and hope that they could find someone who might be able to help him.
Since the accident, the burns have contracted and heavily restrict his movement. The burns underneath his armpit mean he struggles to raise his left arm. He also has bad contractions near his ankles that will, as he grows, mean he will eventually be unable to move his right foot.
“He’s also changed a lot since the surgery,” his mother tells us. He used to be a chubby baby, but since the accident he has lost his appetite and become small and skinny. “He cries all the time now, which is so different to the smiley, giggly baby he used to be.”
Abdullah was put in touch with INARA by UNHCR. We arranged a medical assessment with our doctors at the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC), where we were informed about the medical procedures necessary to help the young child.
He will be first given silicon pads and a garment for his left arm and right leg, to soften the scar tissue. After wearing these for a few months, Abdullah will be ready for a scar revision surgery, which will release the contracted skin on his armpit and ankle.
Hopes for Abdullah’s future
Abdullah’s mother misses the happy times she had with her son before the accident. “I hope and pray that after this surgery he will be able to get over this bad experience and begin to live like a normal, happy child again,” she tells us, while she squeezes her son’s cheek.
Abdullah is one of many children that have been injured while living as refugees in Lebanon. His story is common, and we can only help these children if people donate to us. If you want to do something to help, act now!