“I never thought I’d be in this situation,” admits Jalal, sitting on a bench in a health centre before the start of another physiotherapy session.
“It was spring, three years ago. I had gone to the market to buy bread for my family. I was walking among the stalls when I heard an aircraft in the distance. I wasn’t worried. I thought they would bomb the front lines, not a simple market. But a few minutes later, the bombs started to fall. I collapsed and when I opened my eyes, most of the people around me were dead. The ones who were still alive were screaming for help. I thanked God I was still alive, but when I tried to stand up, I realised my legs couldn’t take my weight. I was covered in blood – that’s when I knew I’d been injured. The ambulances arrived and rushed me to hospital. The doctors amputated my legs straightaway.”
Jalal has been unable to work since his accident. His two brothers, both drivers, meet his needs. One of the things Jalal misses most, he admits, is driving motorbikes and cars. He has been attending rehabilitation sessions for several months. He wants to walk again and he’s already making plans for the future. His ambition is to open a car dealership so he can live his passion.
“When we met Jamal. His muscles were very weak,” explains the physiotherapist. “He has attended a lot of physiotherapy sessions to prepare him for walking, which is particularly difficult for a double amputee.” Jalal will soon be fitted with two prostheses. The fact that his efforts are finally paying brings a smile to his face. “I’d like to thank all of the health staff who helped me recover and took care of me,” he says. Since the start of the Syrian crisis, Handicap International and its local partners have orthopaedically-fitted more than 2,000 people with prostheses and orthoses in the country.
Published on 12/12/2016 - 06:20.