A Decade of Waiting: Omar's Life-Changing Surgery

The war in Syria cost Omar his left foot and severely injured his eye and the left side of his face. His injuries were so severe that he'd given up on education and building a future. Then he met our team.

The ongoing conflict in Syria has resulted in one of the most significant humanitarian crises of our time. In the 13 years since the beginning of the civil war, more than 350,000 people have been killed by the conflict and over half the population has been forced to leave their homes.

The devastating earthquakes of February 2023 exacerbated the situation, affecting almost 8.8 million people and causing widespread damage to homes and infrastructure. As internally displaced people and refugees grapple with the consequences of war, providing safety, healthcare and environmental stability is becoming increasingly difficult.

Born in July 2003 in the Al Ghouta area of Rural Damascus governorate, Omar Kadish’s life was forever altered by the conflict. In 2013, tragedy struck when a bomb blast at the family farm claimed the lives of three of his siblings and left another paralysed. Omar suffered severe injuries, including the loss of his left leg and his spleen, along with significant damage to his left arm and eyesight. He also endured a major kidney and pancreas injury, as well as facial trauma that led to repeated infections.

Despite the horrors he had endured, Omar did not give up. Over the following years, he recovered and rebuilt his life, receiving an artificial leg from humanitarian actors. However, his facial injury did not heal completely. Continuing infections meant he experienced pain and impaired vision, affecting his self-esteem and well-being. He had wanted to continue his education after he recovered from his injuries, but the continuing infections made him reluctant.

Omar’s journey took a pivotal turn when he sought aid from International Medical Corps’ mobile medical team in Al Shefounieh, which is generously supported by funding from the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office. The team conducted a thorough physical assessment and facilitated a referral for a CT scan and consultation with a maxillofacial surgeon. They determined that Omar needed complex reconstructive surgery to fix his face and restore his vision.

“I am incredibly grateful that you facilitated the surgery for me. Now, I can live like other children my age, pursue my studies as I can now see properly, and go to school with newfound joy and optimism.” – Omar Khadish

Based on the diagnosis and recommended plan for reconstructive surgery, the International Medical Corps team referred him to a hospital in Damascus that we work with, where specialists operated on Omar’s face and eye. The surgery was a success; afterwards, he could see properly again. He was overjoyed and grateful for the support he received from International Medical Corps and the secondary care hospital.

The life-changing surgery performed at the hospital in Damascus marked a turning point in Omar’s recovery. Grateful for the support, Omar expressed his sincere thanks, emphasising how the surgery granted him the opportunity to live a normal life, pursue his studies with renewed optimism and embrace a future filled with possibilities.

Omar recovers from life-changing surgery provided by International Medical Corps

Omar’s journey is a testament to the transformative impact of access to secondary healthcare services. Through the unwavering commitment of International Medical Corps’ mobile medical teams and referral services, people like Omar can move forward and find hope amid adversity.

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