A new independence for Firial

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“Firial’s story is very inspiring,” Hamzeh, an HI staff member says of a three-year-old little girl in Jordan. “I’ve rarely seen a girl who loves doing her physical therapy exercises so much and who has progressed this fast. It really encourages us to continue doing what we’re doing.”

Firial was born with Down syndrome and finds it difficult to move around and coordinate her movements. Tamam, Firial’s mother shares her daughter’s story with our team: “When my daughter was diagnosed with Down syndrome, we didn’t think anything could be done to help her. Then, one day, someone told me about Handicap International.”

“I didn’t even know what physical therapy was,” Tamam continues. “The first time we came to the center, my daughter couldn’t stand up and she found it really hard to communicate with us. These weekly rehabilitation sessions have totally changed our day-to-day lives. It’s wonderful to see her move around and interact with people. It’s given us hope again.”

When Firial arrives at the rehabilitation center in Zarqa, she looks excited to begin her new session. As HI’s physical therapist, Manal, walks towards her, the little girl beams with joy. Manal and Firial know each other well. In fact, this is their 20th rehabilitation session together.

Hamzeh and Manal begin a series of exercises with Firial, under her mother’s watchful eye. “Today we’re going to see if Firial can take some more steps without falling,” Manal continues. “She can already take five steps, which she couldn’t do before we started working with her. Her balance is improving with time. We want her to be fully independent in the future, and I think we’ll manage that. I’m sure she’ll be able to walk by herself in a few months time.”

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Firial blows into her hands and sends her mother a kiss. “See – that’s new too,” says Tamam with a smile. “These physical therapy sessions haven’t just improved her ability to move around, they also help her interact and share things with us.” Firial’s mother is now determined to ensure the best possible future for her daughter.

The rehabilitation sessions have opened up new opportunities to her. “I want her to be happy and to feel accepted for who she is – at school and at home. I think the physical therapy is going to help with that and make it easier for her to live her life. I’ve realized that when a child has Down syndrome, that it’s not the end of their story. I would really like my daughter to realize her full potential. Firial is bright and loving. She has a lot to offer us and the people who cross her path.”