Nader appears in front of Mawada and her parents’ tent, holding a big package in his hands. It’s the second time that the Handicap International physiotherapist, visits the family. “When I met Mawada last week, I saw she was having problems getting around the camp because of her condition. So I’ve brought her a walking frame to help her,” explains Nader.
Mawada was born with cerebral palsy “My daughter was just twenty-six weeks old when she was born. She didn’t get enough oxygen when I was giving birth, and that affected her brain,” says her mother Marwa, still obviously distressed by the experience. “When we realised what our daughter was suffering from, I couldn’t stop crying and my husband was really shaken.” That’s when they realised that Mawada would never walk like other children.
“We immediately arranged physiotherapy sessions for her to make sure she was as mobile as possible,” explain her parents. The little girl also underwent six surgeries to correct the alignment of her legs. “And until we fled Mosul, Mawada was attending rehabilitation sessions twice a week,” says Marwa. “We had even bought her a walking frame with wheels and she used it all the time to move around. But in November, we had to leave in a hurry and forgot everything.”
Marwa and her husband left Mosul on foot with their four children. “Fleeing the city was very difficult,” they explain. “We had to take it in turns to carry Mawada and bombs were exploding everywhere.” Before she met Handicap International’s team, Mawada spent three months in the camp without physiotherapy care. This had an obvious impact on her health. To make sure that doesn’t happen again, today Nader is showing the little girl’s parents how to do simple rehabilitation exercises with her.
Mawada enjoys the exercises and she’s clearly excited by the idea of walking again. She’s a very determined little girl: “She helps me a lot with daily tasks around the camp,” says Marwa. “She is really smart too. She doesn’t go to school yet but she can already count.” Mawada’s mother watches as her daughter takes a few steps with her new walking frame: “Our greatest hope is for Mawada to grow up like other girls her age, to have an education, and to be able to move around in the camp as she pleases. We just want her to be happy.”
Mawada tries out her new walking frame. © E. Fourt / Handicap International
Published on 05/18/2017 - 06:51.