Syrian refugee relearns how to live after traumatic brain injury


In April 2015, Ahmed, his wife and their three children were still living in Syria. One morning, Ahmed went out to buy bread and fruit for his family’s breakfast when he was caught in an air strike.

After being hit in the head by shrapnel, he was found unconscious by strangers and taken to a hospital in Turkey. Suffering from a traumatic brain injury, Ahmed spent 40 days in a coma and two additional months in the hospital. Weakened but alive, he was finally able to return home to Syria.

However, living under the constant threat of air strikes in Syria, the family decided to take refuge in Jordan.

It was difficult for Ahmed to move so the journey to Jordan was long and full of challenges. The family was delayed several times.  “We had to wait two weeks before we were able to enter Jordan, because we were held up at the border like thousands of others,” says Ahmed.

In Azraq refugee camp, Ahmed and his family moved into 20-square-foot trailer. “It’s basically a big shared room where we cook, eat, and sleep,” says Ahmed. “We had a big and beautiful house in Syria."

Handicap International has been supporting Ahmed and his family since they arrived. To help him regain some mobility, Ahmed was given a cane and wheelchair. With weekly assistance from a physical therapist and his children’s encouragement, he now finds it easier to move around without help. A social worker also visits the family once a week to help Ahmed and his family cope with the stress and trauma they have experienced.