In the latter years of the conflict, the once populous city of Aleppo has been left with barely a handful of medics, even fewer specialists and scarcely a functioning hospital.
Due to the effects of the long term siege, though nonetheless shocking, it was no surprise to discover that those who managed to evacuate from Aleppo arrived gaunt and emaciated, with skeletal frames and rotting and festering flesh from injuries sustained long ago.
Amidst the sea of the injured was five month old orphan Maram. Her legs and arms had been shattered in the same attack which had claimed her parents and made her an orphan, her limbs embedded with fragments of shell.
With the non-existent healthcare in Aleppo, the only treatment available to soothe Maram’s relentless pain and tears was tiny doses of regular paracetamol.
Syria Relief’s Chairman, Doctor Mounir Hakimi and world renowned conflict surgeon Doctor David Nott met Maram as he evacuated the besieged city. Together, they successfully operated on little Maram, dealing with the most immediate wounds and infections.
“Maram’s story is one of many heart wrenching stories I encountered on my most recent trip to Syria”, said Dr Monir Hakimi, Chairman of Syria Relief.
“Thousands of children who arrived from Aleppo were suffering from disabling injuries, trauma and loss of families and friends. It was difficult to leave her despite how hard we worked in trying to improve her situation.
I do think of Maram a lot, I wished I could take her to the UK for further treatment and have her as a member of my family.”
Maram was since transferred to a specialist unit in Turkey. The full extent of her injuries is such that the very finest medical treatment would be needed to save her life – whether she has been able to receive this is sadly still question mark.
Yet, like much of the injured who managed to escape Aleppo, the doctors are grateful that in surviving the evacuation, Maram is amongst the strongest of the Aleppo survivors. Those with graver injuries would have not made it through the process.
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