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Israa, 6 years old, is walking again


Rehabilitation | Syria | PUBLISHED ON June 8th 2023
Israa Fahed Al Abood,injured during the earthquake on 6 February, at Al-Rahma hospital.

Israa Fahed Al Abood,injured during the earthquake on 6 February, at Al-Rahma hospital. | © B. Sweid / HI

Israa was seriously injured in the earthquake on 6 February. Physiotherapy and psychological support have helped her recover.

“We were asleep when the earthquake happened”

It was 4am when Israa's whole family was woken by the earthquake. Their house caved in on them.

"We started running for the door, but suddenly it went dark... I realised we were buried under the rubble."

Trapped in the debris, Israa cried out and called to her mother, who tried her best to reassure her. But there was no sound from Israa's father or brothers... After several hours, Israa and her mother were rescued. Her father and brothers didn’t survive.

HI’s intervention

Israa was immediately taken to Al Rahma hospital. She was in great pain from a haemorrhage in her abdomen and unable to move.

Israa underwent surgery, but then suffered numerous complications, including acute fever, respiratory problems and muscle weakness.

HI's teams noted the little girl’s general weakness and difficulty moving around. Israa was traumatised and didn't want to interact with those around her. She was suffering greatly from the loss of her father and brothers, got angry easily and cried often. When she was angry, she refused to speak to her mother and pulled violently on her hair.

The members of HI’s psychological support team took her in hand. They used puppets to break the ice and communicate with her. They also used drawing and colouring, and told her stories to ease her anxiety and encourage her to communicate again.

The team also encouraged her to interact socially with the people she loves. As well as her family, her teacher came to visit her on numerous occasions.

A rapid recovery

Israa is still having physiotherapy sessions with HI to help her walk independently and carry out everyday activities, such as eating, dressing and playing.

But she is out of hospital now and living with her mother and uncle in a displaced persons camp. She is surrounded by her family and friends and has gone back to school.

She will always carry the scars of what happened on 6 February, but her family is there to support her and help her through.

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