Goto main content

“I lost my leg in several stages”

Rehabilitation
Syria

Three years ago, Mohsen was caught in a bombing in Syria and he lost one of his legs. Handicap International (HI) helped the 25-year-old man, now a refugee in Lebanon, get a prosthesis. The organization has also been providing him with physiotherapy care since he arrived in the country.  

Mohsen had his right leg amputated after failing to receive proper care for an injury in Syria | © E. Fourt / Handicap International

When Mariam, Handicap International’s physiotherapist, arrives in front of Mohsen’s tent, she’s greeted by his mother. “He’s on his way, he won’t be long,” says Aïda.  A few minutes later, a young man in his twenties pulls up on a small motorbike. When meeting him for the first time, you’d never think Mohsen has ever had any health problems. “That wasn’t always the case,” his mother says. “He’s got years of rehabilitation under his belt.” Mohsen takes off his shoes before entering the tent, exposing his rigid right foot – the first clue that he’s wearing a prosthesis. “I lost my leg in several stages,” he says.

 

Although Mohsen was injured in a bombing in 2013, his leg was amputated a year later. “All I can remember of that day is a huge explosion. My leg was riddled with shrapnel, fracturing it in two places,” he says. He was rushed us to the nearest hospital and operated on immediately. “But there were so many injured people that they couldn’t let me stay long. I was back home the next day.” Mohsen’s external fixations, which were supposed to strengthen the bones in his leg, gradually became infected. “It got so bad that the doctors had no choice but to amputate my leg.”

Mohsen’s wife and mother, already living as refugees in Lebanon, told him to join them without delay. “There were also almost no health services left in our region of Syria. My mother and Iman said I’d get proper treatment here. So I took the road to Lebanon.” Mohsen met with Handicap International’s professionals shortly after arriving. They made sure he was fitted with a prosthesis that was the right size for him and arranged for him to have physiotherapy sessions.

“Thanks to the exercises I can stand again now,” he explains. “I’ve been doing them every day for three years, and things are improving. I feel as if my life is starting to get back to normal again. I worked as a labourer, back in Syria. It took me months to get a job here, but I managed, in the end. My employer decided to give me a chance despite only having one leg. It didn’t take him long to realise that I was still a good worker.” Mohsen gets his mobile out of his pocket and shows the organisation’s team a video of him working on a building site. He’s very proud. “I can make life easier for my family now that I’m back on my feet and working again. That’s what matters most to me,” he adds with a smile.  

Date published: 19/10/17

COUNTRIES

Where we work

Read more

Adbullah receives support from HI in Yemen
© ISNA Agency / HI
Explosive weapons Rehabilitation

Adbullah receives support from HI in Yemen

Abdullah is 12 years old. In December 2019, he was seriously injured in an airstrike when he was playing outside with his friends. Humanity & Inclusion (HI) have supported Abdullah since the attack. This is his story.

What's happening in the Central African Republic?
© Adrienne Surprenant / HI
Health Rehabilitation

What's happening in the Central African Republic?

The Central African Republic (CAR) has "entered a new cycle of violence," says Coralie Frémion, Humanity & Inclusion's (HI's) Programme Director. HI is providing logistics and rehabilitation support to assist the most vulnerable people in CAR amid rising tensions.

Mohamad's Story: “I had a one-in-a-hundred chance of survival"
© S. Khalifat / HI
Explosive weapons Rehabilitation

Mohamad's Story: “I had a one-in-a-hundred chance of survival"

Mohamad is one of thousands of victims who have experienced the impact of bombing in populated areas. After an explosion hit near his home in 2012, he became paralysed from the waist down. This is Mohamad's story of how he has learned to rebuild his life with support from Humanity & Inclusion (HI).

FOLLOW US