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Where there’s a will, there’s a way


After a car accident that injured his leg, Sami became infected with a bacterium that no treatment could cure. His leg had to be amputated. HI helped him through the life-changing process.

Destroyed building behind a destroyed fence beside a dirt road

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

Sami is 60 years old. He is an active man and losing his leg was a terrible blow. 

The car accident 

Sami’s house was bombed in 2012. When he heard the news, he rushed to check on his family. But on the way, he had a car accident in which his right leg was severely injured. 

He underwent internal fixator surgery, but suffered from complications because of a viral infection, pseudomonas aeruginosa, that was picked up in the operating room.

The infection didn’t respond to treatment and caused bone necrosis. Sami had several bone transplants with external fixators, but after ten years spent in and out of hospitals, the physician decided to amputate his leg.

The amputation 

In April 2022, Sami had a below-the-knee amputation. HI and its partners’ physical rehabilitation teams then prepared him for a prosthetic limb.

The long road to rehabilitation 

Although the operation had gone well, Sami suffered from psychological distress. He began binge eating and smoking heavily, which affected his general health, causing breathing difficulties and lowering his endurance. This in turn affected his rehabilitation sessions and learning to walk with his new leg. 

Thanks to the joint efforts of HI’s physical therapist, prosthetics technician and psychosocial support worker, Sami was finally persuaded to leave his house using his ten-year-old crutches. He started losing weight, cutting down on cigarettes and adopting a healthier life style. This was a great help in developing his autonomy. 

His first prosthesis 

Last August, measurements were taken for a prosthesis. After exercises to strengthen his muscles and increase his range of motion, and more exercises to improve his balance and proprioception, Sami was ready to be fitted with his prosthetic limb.

The following month, the prosthesis was fitted. His gait training produced results and he gradually set his old crutches aside and began walking without any support.

Sami has now returned to work. He used to be a taxi driver and today works for same the taxi firm managing calls and coordinating drivers.

He now lives and walks with confidence.

Date published: 02/27/23


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