Central African Republic
Central African Republic

With prosthetic leg and psychosocial support, Riad feels brave again

After Riad, 20, lost his leg in a shooting, he feared that he could not care for his family. Today, with the help of Humanity & Inclusion’s psychosocial support, physical therapy and a new prosthetic leg, he can’t wait to show his family what he can do.

On February 15, Riad and his family heard gunfire outside of their house in the Central African Republic. The shooting continued for hours, so they fled in search of safety. Like many others, they sought refuge in a mosque in Bambari. But their safety was short-lived, as gunmen soon entered and opened fire on the families inside, taking several innocent lives. Riad was shot twice, once in his left ankle and once in his right leg. He lay wounded on the ground until the next day, too afraid to seek help until then. By the time he was taken to the hospital, his injury had become so severe that his right leg was amputated 21 days later.

The operation was a success, but Riad worried about the future. He lives with his mother, his siblings and their children in Bambari. His greatest fear after losing his leg was that he would not be able to take care of his family. After the amputation, Humanity & Inclusion psychosocial specialists helped him overcome his fears, cope with the pain, and start adjusting to life with a disability.

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Always accompanied by his older brother, Riad has been attending physical therapy with Humanity & Inclusion specialists twice a week in Bambari. Ready for an artificial leg, Humanity & Inclusion recently paid for the brothers to visit the Central African Republic’s only fitting center in Bangui.

“I can’t wait to receive my prosthesis,” Riad said during his fittings. “I hope to be able to walk again and take care of my mother. I’ll be able to go get food and spend my day working outside of the house. I think I’ll feel brave again.”

After a week of casts and learning to walk again, Riad received his new prosthetic leg.

“I used to look at my leg and cry, but now I feel stronger,” he says. “I feel that I will have less to worry about from now on and I’m so grateful for the support I’ve received from HI, from my amputation until now. I can stand up and walk again. I can’t wait to show my family!”

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Header image: Riad practices walking with his new artificial leg at a fitting center in Bangui. Inline image: Riad and his brother at a rehabilitation center in Bambari. Copyright: A. Servant/HI