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Just under a year ago, Maria’s mother was giving her daughter a bath. Due to water shortages in the Palestinian refugee camp they live in in Lebanon, her mother would place two bowls of water – one boiling hot, and the other cold – and wash her children with a flannel.

While her mother turned around to shout something to her children in the other room, Maria slipped, and fell into the scalding water. She was badly burnt on her neck and chest.

Her parents rushed her to the nearest hospital. She was admitted for 43 days, and had a surgery in which her cells were cultivated in order to heal her burns. The family, who live below the poverty line, struggled to afford the hospital fees. “We sold most of our belongings to treat Maria,” her father tells us. “I sold our fridge, our washing machine – even the beds we sleep on – just to pay the hospital as I couldn’t face seeing my daughter in pain.”

But, after 43 days, the family’s money had run out. Against the advice of doctors, they had no choice but to discharge Maria. Her mother did everything she could think of to treat the burns. “I would apply cream every day,” she informs us.

The father went to UNHCR in order to find a way to help his daughter. They referred him to us, and we brought Maria in for a medical assessment at the American University of Beirut Medical Center. Dr Amir Ibrahim recommended that she would need CO2 laser sessions in order to soften the burn scars on her neck and torso – ensuring that the scarring won’t restrict her growth in the future.

“I can’t describe the happiness I felt when I found out you could help Maria,” her father tells us, tears of joy in his eyes. It’s down to our fantastic supporters, who donate time and time again to ensure children like Maria don’t fall through the gaps, that we can help this young girl. There are plenty more children in need of help though, so if you can, please donate today.

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