“I don’t want to go to Syria again,” Karim tells us firmly. “I only have bad memories there.”
Karim and his family were internally displaced in Syria. They lived in a tent. One night, while Karim was asleep, there was an explosion. He was badly burnt. His mattress caught fire, and the burnt fibers stuck to his face and arms. Tragically his two brothers were sleeping in a tent closer to the explosion. “I watched my brothers die in front of me,” Karim tells us, no emotions on his face, except for a distant look in his eyes.
Because of Karim’s injury, he and his father came to Lebanon in late 2016, in the hope that they would be able to find appropriate medical treatment for his burns. The scarring on his shoulder was so tight that it prevents him from being able to move properly.
“I used to love playing football,” he explains. “But I’m not able to play it now because my arm doesn’t help me, and I’m afraid that if the ball hit me on my arm or chest, my injury might get worse.”
Karim’s case was referred to us by UNHCR. We immediately brought the 16 year old in for a medical assessment with our team of doctors at the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC). Doctors informed us that Karim would need a scar revision surgery, which would free up the movement of his shoulder. Shortly afterwards, he’d need CO2 laser injections to soften the scar tissue, and ensure that full mobility is restored.