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Mirror therapy helps Abdulrahman on his path to recovery

Emergency Rehabilitation
Yemen

Following a bombardment in North Yemen, Abdulrahman had a right arm fracture with vascular injuries which lead to gangrene. His arm was amputated. HI is supporting him.

Abdulrahman with HI physiotherapist Ahmed

Abdulrahman with HI physiotherapist Ahmed | © HI

HI teams supported Abdulrahman during his recovery from surgery to amputate his arm.

Hit by debris

Abdulrahman Ali Salem is from a small village in the Hajjah governorate in North Yemen. The 34-year old works selling vegetables and as a moto-taxi driver. He is a father of four. He remembers clearly the horror of the day of the bombing:

"I was riding my motorbike when the airstrike happened. I was hit by a shard of debris in my right arm. My arm almost fall apart, I was bleeding a lot! I lost consciousness. A truck driver picked me up and took me to Abs hospital. Later on, I was transferred to Sana'a.”

Abdulrahman

The trauma of an amputation

Abdulrahman had to undergo emergency surgery and eventually had his arm amputated. After surgery, HI helped with post-operative care - bandaging and providing advice about hygiene and wound care.

Abdulrahman has received personalised rehabilitation care to strengthen his left arm and gain maximum independence with one hand, as well as balance and gait training and a treatment known as ‘mirror therapy’.

What is Mirror Therapy?

“Mirror Therapy is the use of a mirror to create the illusion of the presence of an affected limb in order to trick the brain into thinking movement has occurred without pain. It involves placing the affected limb behind a mirror so that the reflection of the opposing limb appears in place of the hidden limb. It aims to reduce phantom limb pain.”

HI physiotherapist, Ahmed

All the support needed

"At the beginning, I was very scared and I did not know how I could live with only one arm. Then I met with the HI team, who reassured me and showed me that many people live a normal life with only one hand. I also benefitted from psychosocial support sessions. All of this helped me to gain strength again," says Abdulrahman.

Abdulrahman continues his steady path to recovery and now has hopes for the future:

"I want to go back to my children. The day of my amputation, my wife gave birth. I hope to see my son very soon. I gave him the same name as me. I feel like God sent me a son to replace the loss of my arm."

Date published: 08/01/20

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