The Story of One Child’s Struggle to Survive:
On 2/17/2017 ten year old Ghina Wadi, who has spent the past seven months often in unbearable pain, which for the first month was periodically relieved for only approximately 15 minutes at a time- by heavy injections of morphine, had another of what hopefully this time will be a leg saving operation. The operation took place at a surgical hospital in Jaramana, ten kilometers Southeast of Damascus not far from the Palestinian Refugee Camp of Jaramana.
Ghina was shot by a sniper on 8/2/2016 on the main street in Madaya at the Abdel Majed checkpoint when she was on her way to buy medicine for her mother, Sahar. Her accompanying seven-year-old sister Nagham was also injured in her hand and arm.
Ghina’s family had months earlier been forced to flee their home in the nearby town of Zabadani in the proximity of Wadi Barada close the Syrian-Lebanon border in the Qalamoun Mountains. The exploding bullet smashed Ghina’s left leg and thigh causing a complex pulverized bone fracture and severed nerves in her left leg. Infection immediately set in and has repeatedly returned during the past half year.
Two weeks after being shot, permission was granted for Ghina to be evacuated to a better equipped Damascus hospital since medical facilities in Madaya could not save her leg and amputation was under serious consideration.
As Ghina hopefully heals quickly, despite still being malnourished, MSRCL hopes that she can enter a public school near her home. While receiving home schooling the past few months, and despite Ghina’s worry that “kids will make fun of me because of my leg”her mother agrees that being among other children and socializing will be better and may well aid her recovery. This observer, from his time in Syria and among Syrian refugee children in Lebanon has learned that children have a wonderful capacity to help one another when they learn from where their new friends came from in Syria and what happened to their families. A kind of therapy one imagines.
Ghina’s 3 year old brother Kamal and her 4 year old sister Manal are still under siege in Madaya. They have not seen their mother or sisters for nearly eight months and as with the general population of Madaya, and 16 other locals in Syria similarly besieged, food, water, electricity, medicines are becoming more scare daily. MSRCL is continues their efforts to obtain the children’s release and lift the year long siege on Madaya’s 38,000 residents.
Below: 4 Photos of Ghina taken on 2/18/2017 at Jaramana Surgical Hospital:
MSRCL will continue to help our “Adopted Syrian Family” and our Princess Ghina to the best of our ability as we seek partners to open a permanent Kitchen -Dining Room to provide a hot nutritional meal everyday of the week for malnourished Syrian Refugee Children in Beirut.
Franklin Lamb is a former Assistant Council for the House Judiciary Committee of Congress and has taught International Law at Northwestern College of Law in Portland, Oregon. He volunteers with the Sabra-Shatila Scholarship Program (sssp-lb.org)