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Worood, 8: “I’d like to clap my hands like the other children”

Emergency Rehabilitation

Worood, 8, is from Syria. In February 2013, she lost her arm after she and her family were injured in a bombing. For several weeks, Handicap International’s partner in Syria has been providing her with physiotherapy care. The organisation is able to assist Worood with support from the EU’s humanitarian aid and civil protection service (ECHO) and its local partner in Syria.

Worood at a rehabilitation session.

Worood at a rehabilitation session. | © Handicap International

Today, Worood is visiting the rehabilitation centre for another physiotherapy session. Three years after she was injured in a bombing, for her parents, the memory is still raw. “It was a morning in February 2013,” they explain as they wait in the physiotherapy room.

“We were visiting relatives and Worood was playing with her cousins in the living room. Suddenly we heard the sound of aircraft flying over the house. We tried to flee but the cluster bombs had already exploded. Three children died and everyone had shrapnel wounds.” 

Em Issa, the little girl’s mother, adds: “I was also injured but I ran to Worood and we were rushed to the nearest hospital. The doctors did everything they could to save her arm but it was too late...”

 “I’d like to clap my hands like other children at school, in class and when we play” 

Worood says, to which the physiotherapist replies, with a grin: “That will soon be possible. Today we’re starting her eighth physiotherapy session. When we met her, Worood had a lot of mobility problems with her shoulder. We’ve been working to strengthen her muscles to prepare her to be fitted with a prosthesis.”

Abou Issa, Worood’s father, an ambulance driver by profession, is delighted with the news. “Since her amputation, my daughter can’t do things you need two hands for. The prosthesis is going to change her life.” Since the start of the conflict, Handicap International and its network of local partners has organised more than 25,000 physiotherapy sessions for injured and disabled people in Syria. 

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