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A model of ddetermination

Rehabilitation
Syria

Eisa lives in northern Syria. In 2013, he was injured in a car accident. A year later, he had to flee his village in Syria and take refuge in the north of the country where one of Handicap International’s teams is now providing him with physiotherapy care and equipment to help him move around more easily. 

Eisa and his son, in front of his home.

Eisa and his son, in front of his home. | © Handicap International

When Handicap International’s team knocks on his home door, Eisa comes to greet them with his young daughter in his arms and invites the professionals to have a seat in his living room. Just a few years ago, this father of two young children would have been unable to perform this simple task or to walk or even breathe properly. You wouldn’t think so when looking at him today. Eisa appears to be in good shape and he has almost recovered from the accident which changed the course of his life, three years ago.  

Settling down with the organisation’s partners, he begins to open up about the day his life changed forever. “I was in Lebanon at the time. The borders were still open. I was on my bicycle when I was run over. I woke up in hospital. My vertebrae were broken and I was totally paralysed. I found it really difficult to breathe.” Doctors had to operate on Eisa several times but health costs in Lebanon were high and he had to leave the country just eight days after his accident. He decided to return to Syria.

He then stayed in the hospital but when he finally returned home, Eisa was far from his old self. He knew that the long road to recovery was going to be long. It took him six weeks to breathe properly and five months to stand up again. But Eisa didn’t give up hope: he was determined to regain the full use of his body. Little by little, he recovered and became the father of a little girl, another addition to his family.

In 2014, Eisa and his family faced a new problem. The conflict that was tearing Syria apart forced the family to move to another village. He didn’t know it at the time, but the move would play a big role in his recovery.

Eisa met Handicap International’s team, who offered him direct physiotherapy sessions. Eisa enthusiastically accepted their offer. “He’s really patient and very motivated,” explains Abu Zyad, his physiotherapist. “During our first sessions, Eisa really wanted to make progress: sometimes he even refused to use crutches, which would have made it easier for him to move around, because he was determined to be independent.”

Today, thanks to his efforts, Eisa can take care of his children when his wife goes out to work and he can drive his car. Soon he would like to be able to carry heavy objects and to work again. Handicap International’s team is helping him achieve his goal by continuing to provide him with rehabilitation care. Since the start of the conflict in Syria, nearly 10,000 people have benefited from physiotherapy sessions provided by Handicap International in the country. 

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(c) E. Fourt/HI

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© AFP PHOTO / AMER ALMOHIBANY

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