Salma’s eyes are closed throughout the entire meeting. Every now and then she rubs her hand on her chubby cheeks and murmurs, while she is wrapped in a fluffy pink blanket. She doesn’t notice the conversation going on around her, as her parents and great-grandfather talk about the struggles they have faced since the Syrian War first broke out in 2011.
Life before the war
Salma’s parents are both in their early twenties. The war tore away their hopes and dreams for the future. “I had just graduated from high school when the war broke out,” her father Nadim explains. “I was excited to start university.”
His grandfather, with a proud smile on his face, points out that he had always pushed members of his family to study hard. “All my sons are educated, and their sons too. Nadim’s brother had a degree in business,” he says. “They didn’t know how to cope when we came here as refugees. They didn’t even know how to hammer a nail into the wall.”
Nadim was studying at the university when he met his future wife, Khadija. Shortly after they married, the violence of the war got much worse. Nadim had to make a decision: stay and finish his studies while fearing for his life on a daily basis, or flee the country and drop out of university. He tried to put off the decision as long as he could, but by February 2014 he realized that they had to get out.
Refugees in Lebanon
Nadim came to Lebanon and found a job working in a clothes shop in a small city. He lives with his great-grandfather and wife in a village in the mountains of Lebanon. “It’s far, far away from anything else,” Khadija tells us. “The room that we live in is extremely humid. In summer it’s horrible.”
Salma was born last summer. Doctors explained that Khadija’s pregnancy would be difficult because she has epilepsy. Khadija worried the whole time that this would affect her child. When Salma was born, even though she was born with developmental dislocation of the hip (DDH), her mother still felt a sense of relief. “I was glad that she was healthy, except for the DDH. I was glad it was only this and nothing more…”
Finding INARA in their time of need
Salma’s father only makes $10 a day, and so the family were worried about how they would be able to get the treatment their young daughter needs. They met Dr Taha, the doctor we work with on our orthopedic cases, at a primary health care center, and he told the family about INARA. They contacted us, and Salma was brought in for further assessments with Dr Taha at the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC). “I couldn’t believe how smooth everything was,” Khadija exclaimed.
The recommended plan for Salma is that she will have to go under general anesthetic, and doctors will move her hip bone back into its socket. After that, she will need to wear a cast for approximately two months, with regular x-rays to ensure that the treatment is working for her.
It is all down to ours amazing supporters that children like Salma can get the treatment they so desperately need. There are many other children who need our help in Lebanon, and your donations make all the difference.