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“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.”

 

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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

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