Monday, December 28, 2009

Gaza boy may travel to USA for surgery for amputation

From Gulf News:

GAZA -- A year after Israel’s offensive on Gaza, Abdullah (pictured) is finishing up his 5th grade exams, so that he can travel to the United States for another crucial surgery on his amputated leg.

In 2004, Abdullah lost his leg when Israel tank fire hit the Al Athamna family home while they were sleeping early in the morning. The father spoke with Gulf News last year while the team was covering the war, recalling the heart-wrenching details.

“They had fired five more shells at the house. I had no idea what had happened to my kids and my wife. I started pulling out the injured - arms were severed, legs were severed, heads were opened. Abdullah said to me ‘Dad, mum is dead and so are my sisters.’ He said it just like that.”

In 2006, Abdullah came to the UAE after the Palestinian Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF) had selected some a handful of children who desperately needed to receive new limbs.
One year later, the 11-year-old speaks with unimaginable maturity.

“Sometimes I wish to be like other kids and play football, but i say to myself that this won’t stop me from having a normal life,” Abdullah told Gulf News.

“Moral support alone is not enough. I consider myself lucky that my child had the chance to be treated in UAE and the US. I thank all those who are trying to support the Palestinians.” Abdullah’s father said.

Abu Abdullah is expecting another child in a few months. He decided to remarry after finding it difficult to raise Abdullah as a single parent, especially with all his special medial needs.

The family has moved into a new house.

“I think by moving to a new house we might forget some of what has happened to us, especially to Abdullah,” Abu Abdullah explained.

No justice has been brought to the Israeli soldiers who fired the missile. The Israeli military still insists it was a “mistake”. Regardless, it is for certain that the Al Athamna family will never be able to forget what has happened to them.