An older man walks down a street next to two parked cars and a building covered in blue graffiti

Sami heals from physical, psychological distress of amputation

A car accident forever changed the life of Sami, 60. His leg was injured and, eventually, doctors made the difficult decision to amputate it. Humanity & Inclusion specialists in Syria are helping Sami recover.

After Sami’s home was bombed in 2012, he rushed to check on his family. But on the way, he had a car accident and severely injured his right leg.

He underwent internal fixator surgery, but suffered from complications because of a viral infection, pseudomonas aeruginosa, 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 10 years spent in and out of the hospital, the physician decided it was time to amputate his leg.

In April 2022, Sami had a below-the-knee amputation. Humanity & Inclusion and its partners’ physical rehabilitation teams prepared him for an artificial limb.

Path to rehabilitation

Although the operation went well, Sami experienced psychological distress. He began binge eating and smoking heavily, which affected his general health, causing breathing difficulties and decreasing his physical 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 10-year-old crutches. He started losing weight, cutting cigarettes and adopting a healthier lifestyle. This was a great help in regaining his independence.

Last August, measurements were taken for Sami’s first artificial limb. After exercises to strengthen his muscles, increase his range of motion and improve his balance, he was ready to be fitted with his artificial leg.

Through gait training and rehabilitation sessions, Sami became more comfortable with his new leg. He gradually set aside his old crutches and began walking without any support. Now, he walks with confidence.

Sami has returned to work at the taxi company where he was once a driver. Today, he manages the calls and coordinates the drivers.