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"We were looking at the birds in the sky and planes appeared"

Fawzi, 15 years old, is Syrian. In 2014, he was hit by a bomb, in the region of Deraa. Transported to Jordan for treatment, he now lives there with some of his family members. Handicap International is helping him to recover after spending almost two years in the hospital.

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Fawzi is doing physiotherapy exercises | © E. Fourt / Handicap International

Fawzi lives in a small house in Jordan, just a few kilometres from the Syrian border. Looking at the teenager who sits and laughs with his family in their living room, one could not possibly imagine everything he has been through, in the past few years. But Fawzi only has to lift his T-shirt and everything changes suddenly. The teenager still has numerous scars all over his body, the result of the six operations and a skin graft, which testify to the violence of the bombing raid he survived.

"I was on the roof of my house with my cousin, looking at the birds in the sky. Suddenly, planes appeared and started bombing. I was hit by lots of shrapnel from the shells. I was rushed to the hospital but my injuries were so serious that I was transferred to Ramtha, in Jordan, for emergency treatment." Fawzi had a fractured pelvis and his organs were riddled with shrapnel. This day was the first of a two-year stay at the hospital.

Today, Fawzi lives in a house with his mother and older brother, in the town of Ramtha. One of Handicap International's teams visits him regularly to deliver rehabilitation care. "We do a lot of muscle-strengthening exercises, to help with his day-to-day movements," explains Salam, one of the organisation's physiotherapists. The young Syrian does his exercises conscientiously but seems tired. "He sleeps little and thinks a lot," explains his mother, Fatma. "He would like us to be able to go back to Syria when the war ends. We could be reunited with our other family members, who have not been able to leave the country."

 

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