Zuhair has been through so much pain and hardship at such a young age. The eight year old boy has painful burns on his feet that prevent him from being able to walk, and yet Zuhair often has a smile on his face. He’s brave and does not let life’s hardships drag him down.
He was only four when his feet were injured. His family were internally displaced in Syria. They left behind their home and village in search for safety, and lived in a tent. As his sister was frying potatoes, she accidentally tripped and spilled the boiling hot oil on Zuhair’s feet. They weren’t able to take him to the hospital because of road closures due to the ongoing war. A nearby pharmacist gave them some ointment to treat it temporarily.
The family came to Lebanon shortly after Zuhair’s injury. The fact that they couldn’t get their son the help he needed at such a point of crisis really affected them. Zuhair still needed treatment and so they came to Lebanon in search of treatment.
Life took an even more tragic turn recently when Zuhair and his brother were playing near a lake near their camp. It was winter and extremely cold. His brother fell in the lake. Zuhair desperately tried to save his brother from drowning but didn’t have the strength to drag him out. His brother drowned in front of him.
Ever since, Zuhair’s mom has put all her effort into finding her remaining son the treatment he needs. She takes dotes on him almost as though he is a baby again. It was during this time she was told about INARA by Doctors Without Borders.
We introduced Zuhair to our doctors at the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC). They examined his feet and explained that his toes were severely disfigured by the burns. He was given an Integra skin graft. An Integra template was placed on Zuhair’s scarred skin, and this provides the needed framework for the blood vessels and dermal skin cells to re-grow into a new skin layer. He may need a further surgery in the coming months.
Zuhair is so happy that he found INARA. “It means I will have normal feet again,” he tells us happily. He is looking forward to wearing a pair of shoes without pain again in the very near future.