Goto main content

“He wants to know if his legs will grow back”

Emergency Rehabilitation
Iraq

On 21st March 2017, 9-year-old Bakr was injured in an air attack in the west of Mosul. After having both of his legs amputated, he is now recovering in a hospital on the outskirts of the city. Handicap International is providing him with physiotherapy care and psychosocial support.

Bakr lying in his hospital bed, Iraq

© E. Fourt/Handicap International

Bakr is lying in a hospital bed with a lost look in his eyes. He turns to his father and mutters softly: “It hurts Dad, it really hurts.”

Just a few days ago, he was playing in the street with his friends in Mosul, when they were hit by a bomb. Bakr was rushed to hospital where doctors amputated both of his legs.

Since then, he has been in a state of shock and suffers a lot. The painkillers don’t stop him thinking about what happened.

“He still hasn’t accepted the situation,” says Karam, one of Handicap International’s psychosocial workers, who visits him every day. “When I see him, he asks me if his legs are going to grow back. He also says he’s been having a lot of nightmares since his accident.”

 

Help us restore hope in a time of war

Please donate to our BBC Radio 4 appeal

Fatima, a Handicap International physiotherapist, enters the boy’s hospital room and starts to do a series of rehabilitation exercises with him.

“I met Bakr just after he reached the hospital,” she explains. “Since then, I’ve visited him every day. I use our sessions to help him get used to his situation. It’s going to take him time to accept it, but I’m hopeful. Bakr is still a child and children usually find it easier to adapt.”

Our team will talk to a local partner organisation about Bakr, to arrange for him to be fitted with prosthetic legs in the near future.

Date published: 18/05/17

COUNTRIES

Where we work

Read more

"No safe recovery": New report on Iraq and explosive weapons
© F. Vergnes/HI
Explosive weapons

"No safe recovery": New report on Iraq and explosive weapons

Published on 13th October, Humanity & Inclusion’s report “No safe recovery: The impact of Explosive Ordnance contamination on affected populations in Iraq” paints a harrowing picture of the daily lives of Iraqis.

Disaster Risk Reduction: a growing humanitarian need
© Benoit Almeras/HI
Emergency Prevention

Disaster Risk Reduction: a growing humanitarian need

The frequency and intensity of disasters from natural hazards is steadily increasing. Research shows that vulnerable populations and low-income countries suffer the greatest consequences.

“Our goal is to minimise the impact of disasters”
© HI
Emergency Prevention

“Our goal is to minimise the impact of disasters”

With natural disasters on the rise, Jennifer M'Vouama, HI's Disaster Risk Reduction Advocacy Officer, explains the need for inclusion in NGO responses.

FOLLOW US