"I still remember that day," recounts Abdallah. "I was at home with my family. It was in the morning. Planes appeared and started bombing our neighbourhood... I still remember the explosion... my father and I were injured, our neighbour died instantly. Then I passed out..." The teenager pauses, before carrying on, "I woke up a week later in the Ramtha hospital in Jordan. I was completely lost and in a lot of pain. The doctors tested the feeling in my legs, but in the end they decided to amputate. I spent two months in hospital, and then I started my rehabilitation sessions at a health centre."
Salam, one of Handicap International’s physiotherapists, has been working with Abdallah for several weeks now. "We first gave him a wheelchair and crutches to help him get around. Now that he has been fitted with a prosthesis, we are teaching him how to move with it. This means he can go about his daily life and can also do sport," she explains. "I love basketball," adds Abdallah, "I'm in the local team here. I also go to the gym a lot when I'm not at school or with my friends." "My son is an athlete, despite his disability," says his proud mother, Rahma.
Although she and Abdallah have found refuge in Jordan, the rest of their family is still stuck in Syria. "I sometimes speak to them, when the internet connection is working," explains the teenager. "They tell me that life in Syria is very hard, the bombing continues... I would really like this conflict to come to an end and for us to be able to return home. In the meantime I am studying very hard. I would like to become an orthopaedic physician one day.