“You can feel that Abir is different emotionally from other children,” her mother tells us. “The injury has changed her life so much, and she cannot move the fingers on her hand anymore.”
Abir is only a year old. She’s a very small baby, and cries a lot. “She’s always afraid,” her mother tells us, yawning. She had been up all night because Abir was in a lot of pain. Both parents look exhausted as they sit in the INARA offices explaining what happened to their daughter.
This winter, the family burnt coals in their fireplace in the middle of the room to heat up their small house that they rent out in Lebanon. Abir’s father was outside and his young daughter was inside crawling around harmlessly.
Suddenly her father heard the noise of Abir crying and screaming. He ran into the house to find that his daughter had crawled to the fireplace and grabbed coal with her one hand, and was in a lot of pain.
The family didn’t have the money to take her to the hospital, so they consulted a local doctor who prescribed her herbal medicines that he said would ensure the burns healed. The family were disheartened to see after a few days that the burns had caused her fingers to fuse together, causing her functionality problems.
The family knew that they needed to do something to help their young daughter. They began to approach organizations recommended to them by their neighbors. When they met with the Union of Relief and Development Associations (URDA), they were put in touch with INARA.
We immediately booked Abir in for a medical assessment at the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC) where they met with Dr Amir Ibrahim. He examined the child and stated that she would need a scar release and skin graft surgery on her hand to restore full functionality.
In mid-August, Abir had her surgery. She was discharged the next day and the doctors told us that the procedure had been a huge success. She will have a number of follow-ups over the coming months to ensure that she is healing as expected, and then she will be able to use her hand as normal again.
A huge relief
This comes as a huge relief to Abir’s parents, who have both spent months worrying about their young daughter. “We just wish that she can have a happy and healthy life,” they tell us. “Now we can imagine this again.”
The family expressed a huge amount of gratitude to INARA and those that have donated to help children like Abir. “We want to thank the people that donated and helped our daughter get better. They have helped to change her life and move her fingers again.”
To help other children like Abir, who have been injured as a result of living as refugees, you can do so below.
UNICEF contributed to Abir's treatment.