A little boy stands with his hands on a walking frame while a doctor stands behind him

Walking brings a smile to Housen’s face

Housen, 8, has cerebral palsy. Humanity & Inclusion and its partners in Syria developed a specifically tailored rehabilitation program to help him learn to walk and become more independent.

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

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 walking frame and participated in a series of rehabilitation sessions to help him recover 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 problems.

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

The investment of Housen’s physical therapist and caregiver paid off sooner than expected! When he first walked with a pediatric walking frame, happiness filled his face and that of his stepmother.

Housen’s rehabilitation treatment lasted for 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 more independent.