Last July, Firas’s life changed forever. The eight-year-old little boy was at home when his neighborhood was hit by an airstrike. His mother recalls what happened, “I can remember it like it was yesterday. It was a summer day, nearly noon. I heard the sound of an aircraft and I immediately called my children. We had gotten into the habit of sheltering in the basement when we heard a plane in the sky.”
“I stated shouting to take shelter when a bomb struck a building across the street. I took my two daughters under my arms and told Firas to run with us to the basement. My son said he couldn’t move. I thought he was stunned from fear so I ran to pick him up. When I held him in my arms, that’s when I realized something was wrong. I felt a warm liquid running down his lower back and immediately starting screaming for help. The ambulances arrived and they took Firas to hospital. The doctors initially tried to stop the bleeding. Firas’s injury was so serious he was taken to another hospital for an emergency surgery where he stayed for six weeks before being released.”
Now paralyzed, Firas can’t do simple tasks. “I can’t go to school with my friends or play football,” he says sadly. Handicap International and its local partner in Syria are helping him recover his mobility. “We’re trying to strengthen his muscles so he can move around by himself,” the physical therapist explains.
Like Firas, 8.4 million Syrian children (over 80%), in Syria or in exile, have been affected by the conflict in their country. Since early 2013, Handicap International has deployed rehabilitation teams and partners in Syria, where they've provided more than 25,000 physical therapy sessions to people with injuries and disabilities. Learn more about our work in Syria.