Walid* sat on the street-ground to fetch his ball that rolled under a bus just before voices started rising high around him. He got up only to see a motorcycle dashing towards him. Walid hit the edge of the road and passed out.
Walid is a 12-year-old boy who lives in a non-residential warehouse in Al-Jumailyia region. His parents, two sisters, and he fled from Al-Firdous region after the destruction of their house and war aggravations that went through their city.
Walid was a top student at school before his family departed. However, he had to drop it when things began to worsen and missiles began to aim at children’s schools especially. Today, Walid wishes to go back to school and achieve his dream of becoming an engineer to rebuild his home. Nevertheless, the death of his father left him no other choice than working in a barbershop to sustain his mother and sisters.
“Not long before we moved into this storehouse did the security status become even worse than before. The horrors we saw back at home are just being repeated. However, because we could no longer take the conditions of unsettlement, we decided to stay and live under a hail of missiles. Once upon a day, the sounds got louder and nearer. We could hear the booms of shells and the groaning of the wounded. We hid for hours in the kitchen because it is in the innermost part of the warehouse. When the sounds calmed a bit down, I went out to check on my neighbors; but a bombshell fell on the door, with its fragments hitting me in the waist and my husband in the belly. He shouted ‘Help! Help!’, but all I could see was the picture of my family dead in the midst of all that dust and darkness, which pervaded the place. A bunch of rescuers came for our help within minutes, and took us to Al Razi Hospital. However, my husband died a couple of days later affected by his wounds, while I stayed there for about 5 months receiving treatment and undergoing several surgeries for my legs and belly. Now I have to live the pain all over again with my son and watch him suffering. I do not know how a child can bear all such pain and lie down in bed for months.” Walid’s mom told, sighing of grief.
After the horrible accident that Walid went through, his mother appealed to charities for help. Her call reached out SOS’ team through social media. Our team immediately contacted the mother to start sponsoring the treatment.
“I am so exhausted that my legs can no longer hold me. I asked a lot of charities to help me pay for my son’s surgery, but until now, I did not manage to collect the whole sum. My son is out there at the hospital, suffering, and waiting for me.” That was what Walid’s Mom said when Rita Yaghmour, SOS’s health coordinator, called to tell her that we are willing to follow up with his case. Thus, we accompanied the mother to the hospital until the child finally entered the operations’ room. The surgery took three hours during which the mother was sorrowed and afraid her son would not be able to play around and enjoy his childhood like other kids.
A week later, we visited the child to check on him. In an attempt to draw a smile on his face and support him in the long treatment-journey ahead of him. While Walid was flying of joy, his mother thanked us for our concern after all the trouble they went through.
Walid is one of 250 children who benefited from SOS health services during the current difficulties. The SOS Children’s Villages medical referral programme is part of the overall emergency response programme that provides care for children and families in Aleppo, Damascus and Tartous. SOS Syria provides child friendly spaces, supports education for children, offers humanitarian relief to vulnerable families, and cares for children who have lost parents or are waiting to re-join their families.