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Housen is so happy to walk


Housen, eight years old, has cerebral palsy. HI and its partners developed a specifically tailored rehabilitation program to help him learn to walk and become more autonomous.

Photos of buildings destroyed by bombs in Raqqa.

Illustration photo, Raqqa one of the cities most destroyed by 12 years of conflict in Syria. | © HI

Housen Omar Al-Khalaf was born with a hypoxia, causing cerebral palsy. He also has lung cirrhosis. His stepmother knew that rehabilitation could improve Housen’s mobility, so she went to see one of HI’s partners - a center offering specialized rehabilitation services.

The diagnosis 

The team started with a physical assessment of Housen and reviewed his medical history. He was seen to have a number of issues, including a balance problem, muscular atrophy and respiratory distress. The team then defined a treatment protocol specifically adapted to his needs. 

Housen was given a pediatric walking frame. He received a series of rehabilitation sessions to help with his balance and strengthen his muscles. He also had gait training to learn to walk and was taught therapeutic positions to adopt while sleeping, sitting, standing and walking to correct and prevent further joint deformities and normalize his muscle tone.

His stepmother, who is his main caregiver, was taught some basic at-home rehabilitation exercises to do with Housen and shown how to create a safe place in their house.

For Housen, walking is fun 

The investment of Housen’s physiotherapist and caregiver paid off sooner than expected! When he first walked with the walking frame, his face - and that of his stepmother – radiated happiness! 

Housen’s rehabilitation treatment lasted three months. But his story doesn’t not end there: he will be receiving further treatment that will enable him to walk without assistance and be independent. 

Date published: 02/27/23


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