"Daddy, They Took My Leg"

In June 2013, a father in Syria, Ahmed, faced his worst nightmare: The home where his wife and daughters were staying was hit by a rocket. This was the third such attack his family had faced. This time, his six-year-old daughter Safa was severely injured and had her entire right leg amputated. He feared she would never walk again.

“When she woke up in her hospital bed after the operation, I tried to comfort her, and told her everything was OK—but she already knew,” says Ahmed. “‘Daddy,’ she said, ‘they took my leg.’”   

Ahmed was determined to protect his wife and daughters and to find better care for Safa. He made the difficult choice to flee Syria, and brought his family to Zaatari Camp in Jordan. Within this bleak, overcrowded refugee camp, Ahmed finally found hope for his daughter’s future.

With support from our donors, Handicap International staff found Safa and promised her that she would walk again. First, she was given a wheelchair so she could join her sisters at school. Then a Handicap International physical therapist taught her how to walk using crutches.

On December 18, 2013, her physical therapist delivered Safa a brand new leg—a custom made prosthesis designed to stand up to the rigors of childhood play. Now, a year after her terrible ordeal, she will have grown strong enough through continued physical therapy to be able play games popular with other refugee children like jump rope and hop scotch.

There’s no easy road ahead for Safa and her family. So much about the future is unknown. But Ahmed holds on to each of Safa’s small successes for inspiration. “Now that Safa is back in school and able to walk, I have great hope that she will find success later in life,” says Ahmed.


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