Immediately after his arrival in Syria, humedica managing director Wolfgang Groß visited Fayad in his tent. He is relieved to see that Fayad has recovered well in the meantime. Photo: humedica/Wolfgang Groß
A special fate receives the support of the humedica team
A report by assistant coordinator Ole Hengelbrock
The day of action for Syria themed “Stop. Don’t look away!“ is over by now, but the situation of the civil war-stricken Syrians is still alarming. Ole Hengelbrock works in the east of Lebanon as a voluntary assistant coordinator. There, he witnesses the misery of Syrian refugees in person. Among the thousands of individual fates, the fate of young Syrian Fayad touches him particularly and he would like to share the boy’s story with you today.
“The official mission of the humedica teams in Lebanon is to provide basic medical care to Syrian refugees. The patient statistics clearly demonstrate that their daily work is very efficient. The number of patients treated in a day varies from week to week. Currently, more than 100 people per day receive professional medical aid thanks to humedica.
The dust-coloured T-shirts of the medical volunteers illustrate their commitment as does the sweat on their foreheads. The whole picture represents an appeal: "Look! We carry on.”
A special characteristic of humedica is that opportunities to help are exploited to the full. In other words: besides their general aid work in the refugee camps, humedica seeks to provide resources for the support of specific individuals. This benefits people whose lives have been torn apart, people with shockingly sad fates like that of Fayad.
Fayad, who was born in Homs into a family with seven children, grew to a teenager with lots of dreams and plans, who had his whole life lying ahead of him. Then, the war broke out. One can hardly grasp the effects this has on the soul of a child. The war tore the family’s life apart, bringing poverty and suffering.
Fayad’s father and one brother were shot. Another of his brothers disappeared during imprisonment. The severest blow to the life of the 16-year-old was a horrible bang. A bomb destroyed the family’s house. Buried in the rubble, Fayad survived, severely wounded. His body is still marked by the war.
After a life-saving operation in Syria, his family salvaged their remaining belongings from the rubble. Almost everything had been destroyed by the bomb. As soon as Fayad’s condition had stabilized, they set off for Lebanon, taking along all they could carry. Away from their home. Away from the war.
In a refugee camp in Lebanese Bekaa valley, a humedica team met Fayad for the first time. He was barely willing to speak anymore, he was weak and undernourished and his body was covered with scars. His fractured arm was stabilized with a fixator.
The medical team on site decided to give Fayad a more comprehensive treatment that went beyond the normal scope of their daily work. This decision taken by Herbert Seitz, Dr. Margot Wortmann, Heidi Nicklin and Dr. Margrit Wille can be understood as an appeal saying: “Stop. Don’t look away.”
Now, one of the doctors checks on Fayad once a week to promote his well-being. The doctors have also accompanied him to a hospital where his state of health was assessed and plans for further treatment made.
The radiographs show numerous splinters in his whole body. Due to the bomb explosion, they have dug into his skin and caused numerous little injuries. The white, bright dots on the dark radiographs are evidence of the war raging in Syria.
Currently, Fayad’s comprehensive treatment is provided by the medical volunteers Dr. Ingeborg Olzowy, Susanne Nieswandt and Marjam Esmail who declare: “We will carry on!” The continuity of their work is demonstrated by the radiograph of Fayad’s left arm.
The bone is still broken and is kept together by means of metal plates. But right on the margin, the bone is knitting together again. This is happening slowly and involves attentive care. Yet, the fracture is healing. After all the destruction caused by the war, the radiograph is a symbol for Fayad’s current biographical situation: Wounds can heal.
So what should we do when, in spite of our belief and hope, the feeling prevails that we cannot alleviate the refugees’ suffering? – We should not look away but carry on! Until wounds have healed; until the war in Syria has come to an end.
During a lunch I am having together with Fayad after a check-up in hospital, I ask him about his dreams and wishes. Before the war, he had wanted to become a goalkeeper, like Oliver Kahn. Now, he would like to become a doctor in order to help other people in need.”
Please continue to support our aid work in Lebanon by means of a specific donation. Help Syrian refugees like Fayad to gain new hope. Get involved and help us to make wounds heal.
humedica e. V.
Reference “Syrian Refugees”
Account 47 47
Bank Code 734 500 00
SWIFT-Code: BYLA DE M1 KFB