Rafik was only 27 days old when he was injured in the war in Syria. He was asleep in his cot when a nearby explosion shattered the windows in his room, sent shrapnel flying, and the room he was asleep in caught fire.
“All he has known is this injury,” his mother tells us. Rafik is now 18 months old. “I don’t want another year to go by with these burns affecting his life. I want him to be able to go to school without being impaired by what happened to him in Syria.”
The scarring on Rafik’s face is so tight that he struggles to close his eyes or open and close his mouth. When we introduced him to our team of doctors at the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC), they said that he will need a scar release surgery on his face. In one surgery, they will ease the scarring on his nose, lip, and eye to ensure he isn’t in as much pain. They said that after this, when he turns four, he may need further treatment.
Rafik’s mother has big dreams for her son. “I always wanted to be a doctor,” she explains to us. “But I wasn’t able to continue my education when the war started. That’s why I hope Rafik will become a doctor.” Her eyes fill with tears as she explains this to us. She adds: “All I can do is try my best to give him a good upbringing.”