Go to main content

“I wanted a prosthetic leg so they would stop harassing me”

Explosive weapons Rehabilitation
Lebanon Syria

Fourteen-year-old Firas had just returned home from school in Syria when his house was shelled. Shrapnel from the explosion flew through the air at the speed of a bullet, hitting Firas in his legs. He was rushed to hospital across the border in Lebanon but his injuries were so bad that his right leg had to be amputated.

Firas was seriously injured in a bombing in Syria

Firas was seriously injured in a bombing in Syria | © Sarah Pierre / Handicap International

Fourteen-year-old Firas had just returned home from school in Syria when his house was shelled.

Shrapnel from the explosion flew through the air at the speed of a bullet, hitting Firas in his legs. He was rushed to hospital across the border in Lebanon but his injuries were so bad that his right leg had to be amputated.

Watch Firas tell his story

After six months in hospital Firas went to live with his family, who had moved to Lebanon in search of safety from the fighting.

At first, Firas felt ashamed and refused to leave the house. The children in his new neighbourhood were making fun of him because of his injuries.

“One day my family took me out in a wheelchair. All the kids laughed at me. I wanted to have a prosthetic leg so they would stop harassing me”, he says.

Luckily, Firas was found by Handicap International's team who were determined to help him walk. We provided him with a walking frame and the physiotherapy he desperately needed so that he could build up his muscles and balance. When he built up enough strength, he was fitted with a prosthetic leg and took his first steps.

With a lot of practice, Firas slowly got used to his new leg. Finally he was able to go back to school and he has even learnt to ride a bicycle again.

Firas’ favourite hobby is finding and repairing old bikes. He has even made a small trailer so that he can take his little brother out with him when he rides around the neighbourhood.

Where we work

Read more

Support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery continues into 2020
© Jaweed Tanveer / HI
Emergency Rehabilitation

Support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery continues into 2020

We are delighted to announce a second year of partnership with People’s Postcode Lottery with support of the players supporting victims of the Syria conflict and men, women and children in conflict.

"I heard Moïse crying under the rubble"
© Davide Preti/HI
Emergency Rehabilitation

"I heard Moïse crying under the rubble"

Moïse was four years old when he lost his left leg in the earthquake that struck Haiti on 12th January 2010.

British physiotherapists tackle deadly measles outbreak in Samoa
© Anna Daniell UK-Med
Emergency Rehabilitation

British physiotherapists tackle deadly measles outbreak in Samoa

In December 2019, the UK Emergency Medical Team (UKEMT), including three physiotherapists, travelled to Samoa to help save lives following a deadly outbreak of measles on the Pacific island. Funded by UK Aid, the UKEMT is the front line of the UK’s response to a humanitarian crisis overseas.