Syrian bombing victim, 6, to get new prosthetic leg in Chicago

A Syrian girl who lost her leg in a bombing is in Chicago to have surgery. Hanan Al hroub will then receive a new prosthetic leg, built at Lurie Children?s Hospital.
April 23, 2014 2:59:14 PM PDT
A Syrian girl who lost her leg in a bombing is in Chicago to have surgery. Hanan A lhroub will then receive a new prosthetic leg, built at Lurie Children's Hospital.

In front of a camera, Hanan becomes shy, offering no more than a sweet smile when asked questions that are translated into her native Arabic. But she has quite a story to tell.

"She's a very brave little girl. She's only 6 years old, traveling by herself without her family," Sarah Alrayyes of the Palestine Children's Relief Fund said. "She has not seen her parents or siblings since September."

Her world was turned upside down in the fall. At the time, Hanan and her family were living in war-torn Syria. Their refugee camp was bombed and she lost her leg.

A relative sought out help for Hanan, who left her family behind.

"Given the situation there in Syria, there isn't available medical help for her to receive," Alrayyes said. "They tried to perform surgery for her in Jordan, but it was unsuccessful."

Hanan headed for the Chicago area months later. The trip was made possible by the Palestine Children's Relief Fund, an American non-profit that arranges free medical care for injured and sick children from the Middle East.

Hanan arrived in Chicago a few weeks ago. She'll soon have an orthopedic revision of her amputated leg and be fitted with a prosthetic limb. The one she has now is painful to wear.

"She's very excited about getting a new leg," Alrayyes said. "She likes to play ball and walk around."

While she's here, Hanan is staying with a family who volunteers with the non-profit. They've already bonded, while Hanan adjusts to being away from home.

"You try to immerse her into your family as much as possible and you grow to love them and they grow to love you, but you know where they belong," host Raina Sadeq said. "They belong with their families."

Hanan will need about six weeks to recover from surgery. She'll be fitted for her prosthetic leg. The Palestine Children's Relief Fund will help fit her with new legs as she gets older.

Hanan will then head back to Syria, to be reunited with her family.


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