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Rehabilitation
Syria

After a car accident that injured his leg, Sami was infected with a bacterium that no treatment could cure. He had to be amputated. HI helped him through.

Photos of buildings destroyed by bombs in Raqqa.

Illustration photo, Raqqa one of the cities most destroyed by 12 years of conflict in Syria | © HI

Sami is 60 years old. He is an active man and losing his leg was a terrible blow. 

The car accident 

Sami’s house in Syria was bombed in 2012. When he heard the news, he rushed to check on his family, but on the way, he had a car accident in which his right leg was severely injured. 

He underwent internal fixator surgery, but suffered from complications because of a viral infection, pseudomonas aeruginosa, picked up in the operating room.

The infection didn’t respond to treatment and caused bone necrosis. Sami had several bone transplants with external fixators, but after ten years spent in and out of the hospital, the physician decided: to amputate his leg.

The amputation 

In April 2022, Sami had a below-the-knee amputation. HI and its partners’ physical rehabilitation teams then prepared him for a prosthetic limb.

 

TURKEY-SYRIA EARTHQUAKE APPEAL: PLEASE DONATE TODAY

 

The long road to rehabilitation 

Although the operation had gone well, Sami suffered from psychological distress. He began binge eating and smoking heavily, which affected his general health, causing breathing difficulties and lowering his endurance. This in turn affected his rehabilitation sessions and learning to walk with his new leg. 

Through the joint efforts of HI’s physical therapist, prosthetics technician, and psychosocial support worker, Sami was finally persuaded to leave his house using his ten-year-old crutches. He started losing weight, cut down on cigarettes and adopted a healthier lifestyle. This was a great help in developing his autonomy. 

His first prosthesis 

Last August, measurements were taken for a prosthesis. After exercises to strengthen his muscles and increase his range of motion, and more activities to improve his balance and proprioception, he was ready to be fitted with his prosthetic limb.

The following month, the prosthesis was fitted. His gait training produced results and he gradually set his old crutches aside and began walking without any support.

He has now returned to work. He used to be a taxi driver. Today, he works for the same taxi firm, but manages the calls and coordinates the drivers.

He walks with confidence.

 

TURKEY-SYRIA EARTHQUAKE APPEAL: PLEASE DONATE TODAY

 

Date published: 14/03/23

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