Performing physiotherapy sessions on a 20-year-old boy in a wheelchair, I realized that he might be able to get up with the help of a walker. I decided to try it. Finally we managed, not only to get up, but also to take several steps. The surprised joy was painted on his face! I will never forget the beautiful smile of this 20-year-old boy telling me more than 10 times ..... Thank you my friend!
He is only 3 years old. Paraplegic… He does not like physiotherapy, he cries ... Only his tears run, he does not speak. I was trying to calm him down. Calm down. He closed his eyes ... He opened them again, without being able to focus on one point; he shook my hand and did not resist the continuation of the exercises. He realized that someone was helping him. He looked up. Faith always looks up. We may not speak the same language, but we understand each other.
I often think that the job of the caregiver I do is the best in the world! I will always have in mind this woman, about the same age as me, who was blind and expecting a child. I accompanied her to the doctor and we spent many hours together. I was constantly trying to support her and so it was time for her to give birth. When she took the baby in her arms and smiled, I think it was the greatest day of my life. I felt verystrong because I could help others.
She is a 22 year old girl. She describes the bombing, in which her left leg was amputated with a bright smile. She shows a damaged, unsuitable artificial limb, which caused her extensive swelling. I explain to her that we have already planned to replace it with a new one, as soon as the swelling subsides. She smiles again. "Do you need anything else;" I ask. "To study medicine," she tells me. I wonder if I can let my emotion show ...
They point us a small house: "He is a gentleman there, he does not walk, he rarely goes out." We knock on the door. We are welcomed by two children, 10 and 7 years old. The gentleman moves with difficulty, leaning on the furniture. One of his legs is crippled by torture, the other paralyzed by a bullet. He tells us he does not want us to do anything for him. "Why?", we ask him. "The children are safe here, that's enough for me." Maybe he does not trust us I think. The next day we went again, we talked for an hour and a half. He finally trusted us.
Walking in the camp I saw a woman sitting alone, with her head resting on her knees. I asked her where hers were. She looked at me with a desperate look and made sense for me to follow her. She opened the entrance of a tent and said to me: "My husband". Underfoot I saw a man, thirty years old. He was missing both legs from the thigh and down. The woman added: "We are waiting for a wheelchair for one year".
We went to see a child with a knee problem. When we entered the camp, the parents came worried about what was going to happen. The child was speechless, he did not walk and we arranged an appointment at the hospital with a pediatric orthopedist. I asked the mother if the child was talking to his parents. She cried and replied: "He is asleep and when he wakes up he does not know if we were here or still in Syria, nor which of the relatives is alive and who was killed."
One of my most intensive memories is of a blind and cancerous refugee with a colostomy. He had no relatives in Greece and no one dealt with him. He was in deep depression. We fought for weeks to get to Belgium, where his family was. While he knew that the hopes of achieving this was small, his psychology changed during that time. We used to say jokes here and there and he would smile. When we finally managed to leave, we accompanied him to the airport. Our emotion was so deep that we were all silent…
Ahmad al Khadraa
He was waiting for us anxiously in the wheelchair (bullet in the spine and paraplegia). Head of household with 2 children. He was very excited that some strangers were coming for his problem. Calm down. We started. Strong man with will. A month later he walked with a walker. He told his son "These people have helped me to my feet." He looked at us with sullen eyes and said thank you. And all of us in the Kinoniko EKAV continue our work with elevated psychology.
He was a 25-year-old Syrian hairdresser. He had lost an eye on bombing. As we talked, we realized that he was ashamed of his appearance and did not come out at all. He was initially given an artificial eye, which did not apply, hurt him and fell! We took him to a specialized doctor's office, who did a good job. His disability is no longer visible at all and he was very happy. He warmly thanked us and wished "Allah always keep you well". He was dreaming now that he could open his own hair salon. My sorrow had been followed by an inner joy.
It was a great happiness for me to be given the opportunity to work as a caregiver for my fellow refugees, within a humanitarian organization. I took up this opportunity with passion. From the many incidents we experienced, I remember a father, whose disabled son we had provided a wheelchair. He said to me, with a somewhat bitter smile: "It is a great good what you have done us, while I cannot do much for you. But know that I will pray for you for the rest of my life. "
Alyas Omer Shams
My mind is haunted by paraplegic children. Their voice is quiet, their contact with the outside world is non-existent, and their preoccupation with something creative is absent. The family is often supportive, but isolated. The refugee has exhausted them and support is necessary. When the day is over and I am alone, I wonder how they can endure all this misery.
His frightened eyes make me a strong impression. Syrian, 18 years old, blonde. He does not seem to be made to withstand the harshness of the refugee. And he could not bear it… We met him in the garden of the psychiatric hospital. For a while he ignored us, he does not look at us… Slowly he gets discouraged, he starts speaking, first in Arabic then he says some words in English… He had three months to communicate! I left with the feeling that I had accomplished something important that day.