The burns on Samer’s neck irritate him. He scratches them a lot because they itch so much, and they could likely restrict his ability to move his neck in the future. Despite this, the young boy always has a smile on his face whenever we meet him.
“We were very happy in Syria until the war,” his father tells us. “I worked as a taxi driver and that was enough for us to get by. When the war began, we did as many families did then, and moved from town to town in search of safety. But the day that bombs landed in our area frightened the entire family so much that I decided that we had to leave our country behind and seek safety in Lebanon.”
Two years ago, Samer’s family were preparing to have a meal. Samer’s mother passed a large pan of hot food to Samer and his older sister and asked them to take into the living room so the family could eat. As the two children carried it in, Samer slipped and the food landed on his neck.
The family, who struggle to survive as refugees in Lebanon, took Samer from doctor to doctor, desperately trying to find treatment that they could afford. After a year of searching, the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) referred Samer to INARA in June 2017.
Doctors at the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC) recommended medication for the burns, which we provided to the family. They said that he would need to check on the burns once they had healed a little bit, to see if it might restrict his mobility. After a year, we brought Samer in again, and doctors advised he would need a CO2 laser surgery and steroid injections to soften the scarring on his neck so that it won’t cause him problems in the future.
His mother is so relieved to hear that INARA can help. “I can sleep well at night again,” she tells us. “I want him to feel that he is a normal boy, and knowing that this operation will help him really reassures me.”
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