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Sondos’s oldest sister prepared breakfast for the entire family. Breakfast was a time when the family would all gather, before Sondos’s father would go to work. It was here that Sondos, who is only four years old, was badly burnt. Boiling water was accidentally knocked over, landing on both hands and her left arm.

Her father spent months trying to ensure that these burns do not impact on his young daughter’s future. “I spent $4,000 on treatments for her over the past year, and with no positive results,” he tells us forlornly.

Meeting INARA

After spending all this money, a neighbor recommended Sondos’s father to contact INARA. She had heard about them through a cousin, whose child had been treated by us. He contacted INARA’s caseworker, and Sondos was brought in to meet our doctors at the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC).

“When I first came to the hospital I cried,” Sondos explained to us. “But everyone loves me there, even the doctors and nurses, so now I don’t cry anymore.”

Dr Ghassan Abu Sittah explained to us that the burns on her arm are extremely tight around the elbow, limiting her movement. He also said that the burns on her hands are also impacting her mobility. He advised that she would need skin graft surgeries on both hands and on her elbow. Afterwards, she would need CO2 laser treatment to soften the skin on these parts of her body, to improve flexibility.

Sondos’s future

All this time spent at the hospital has really had an impact on Sondos. “I want to be a doctor when I’m older,” she tells us confidently. “I want to heal all the children like me who are burnt.” Her father added: “No child should have to suffer what she has been through.”

Sondos is excited for her future. “I want to go to school. I can’t wait to meet my new friends and my teachers.”

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