Syrian Girl Walks Again

29/9/2013

An eight year old Syrian girl whose leg was severely shattered in the conflict area near Daraa in Syria, was brought to the Ziv Medical Center by the IDF two months ago, today (23.9.13) she walked for the first time.

Dr. Alexander Lerner, Head of the Orthopedic Department at the Ziv Medical Center in Zefat stated that this is the first time ever that the Ilizarov technique of external fixation has been performed on such a young girl. "Use of this method has enabled us to save the child's leg. The external fixation is so stable that with the completion of the treatments to reconstruct the shape of her leg, the child was able to get out of bed and walk around her room while fully treading on her leg" said Dr. Lerner.

According to Dr. Lerner "The success of this treatment lies in the joint efforts of a multi-disciplinary medical team including orthopedic and plastic surgeons, anesthetists, physiotherapists, social workers and the operating theater staff. The child's motivation and courage also aided her recovery. Despite her long confinement and severe wounds, she always had a smile and declared that she intends to walk again. The emotional aspect in the process of recovery has been crucial. The child, a favorite in the department, was cheered and hugged when she stood up today and took her first step, smiling broadly at us all. It was an extremely moving moment".

Seven months have passed since the first Syrian casualties were brought to the Ziv Medical Center. To date, 103 casualties have been treated and currently there are 14 hospitalized Syrian patients, five of them are children.

Dr. Oscar Embon, Director of Ziv Medical Center says that the medical team treats all the casualties with utmost devotion, but naturally, treatment of the young children is especially moving. "Treatment of children always raises emotions, especially when it is clear that they are not involved in the hostilities and are victims of the situation. The fact that the young girl who was brought to Ziv in critical condition, on the brink of amputation, is able to stand on her leg today is very exciting for us all. Moments such as these are the greatest reward that the medical and para-medical staff could wish for. Congratulations to the wonderful team who tirelessly provide this incredible treatment." Says Dr. Embon.

The Ziv Medical Center has opened a bank account for donations from private and public organizations as well as from caring individuals. Donations will be used to purchase much needed medical equipment for the Syrian casualties. Discount Bank, Zefat Branch, account 11-098-44591.

For further information please contact Ms. Linda Futterman, Director of International Relations, linda.f@ziv.health.gov.il