"Safa! Safa! Come and see who’s here,” shouts Ahmad, the little girl’s father, as he excitedly ushers Handicap International’s team into his home. Amer, a specialist in prostheses and orthoses, and Salam, a physical therapist, sit down in the living room. A few minutes later, a little girl in pink pajamas appears in the doorway. Safa rubs her big blue eyes, blinks at the visitors and recognizes Amer. Amer has known Safa since she first arrived in Jordan, three years ago.
Amer fitted Safa with her first prosthesis. Safa smiles shyly and makes herself comfortable in the living room as she watches her father talk to the team. Salam has just met the family, and asks Ahmad about Safa’s accident.
“When the conflict started in Syria, we immediately had to leave our city," Ahmad explains. "For the first few years, we were displaced in Syria. But in 2013 everything changed. One day, my wife, Safa, and our youngest daughter decided to visit our neighbors. A rocket fell just next to them in the street. I was working in the neighboring district, and when I saw the smoke around my house from afar, I rushed over to where the rocket had landed.
“The smoke was so thick I couldn’t see a thing. I immediately started to look for my wife and daughters. I found Safa in a drain hole. Her hair was still on fire and her leg was in really bad shape. We rushed her to the hospital and six hours later, the doctors told us that they would have to amputate her leg. We decided to flee Syria. We wanted the best treatment possible for our daughter.”
As soon as Safa arrived in Zaatari with her family, Handicap International started providing Safa with physical therapy. Over the following years, Handicap International continued to care for her as she moved to Amman, the capital, and later Ramtha, where Ahmad and his children now live.
Safa has grown a lot over the last few months and can no longer use her existing prostheses. Amer and Salam are here to give her some good news: she’ll soon get a new one, adapted to her size.
“The prosthesis really makes her life easier," Ahmad says. "She’s happier when she can walk without crutches."
Safa’s father looks affectionately at his daughter, while she chats with Handicap International's team. Very involved in her recovery, he does everything he can to ensure his children are happy, even though their resources are limited. “Our life here is hard, so I’m doing everything I can to make sure they have a bright future. Between now and the end of the year, I’d like them all to go to school. With her new prosthesis, Safa will be able to go to school with her brothers and sisters. She likes studying and drawing. When she grows up she’d like to be a teacher.”
Two weeks later, Handicap International’s team meets up with Safa and Ahmad at the hospital in Ramtha. The little girl and her father are beaming: Safa is going to be fitted with her new prosthesis. The first step is to take her measurements so that the specialists can determine how much she has grown, and produce an artificial leg adapted to her size and weight. Safa happily complies, impatient to walk again.
Today, just like her father, Safa is thinking about the future, and Handicap International is helping her move on, step by step, toward better days.
Watch Safa receiving her very first prosthesis