The heavy bombardment of Idlib on Tuesday May 31, caused the shutdown of many area hospitals due to safety concerns. Many of the wounded were going to UOSSM’s Bab al Hawa Hospital, but is not equipped to take in so many patients at once. Three children died lying in the emergency room awaiting treatment. Click here to read the full press release.
WOMEN KILLED IN MATERNITY WARD DURING LABOR IN HOSPITAL ATTACK IN ALEPPO; TWO DOCTORS ALONG WITH SEVERAL STAFFERS KILLED
The Al-Quds Hospital, in Aleppo, was targeted by Syrian Forces and Allies on Wednesday April, 27 by thermobaric bombs, causing death and destruction. The hospital was primarily a women’s and children’s hospital but also provided services including internal medicine, cardiology, nephrology, neurology, and other specialties. Among the victims were women that were in labor when the bombs struck killing them and their newborn or unborn babies. Two doctors were also killed. There at least 35 victims many of them women and children.
* The death toll has risen to at least 50 people and over 80 injured, that number is still expected to rise as bodies are still being pulled out of the rubble.
Click here to read the full press release.
Dr. Hassan Al-Araj, Head of the Health Directorate in Hama, Syria, was killed in an airstrike Wednesday April 13, during the ceasefire. Dr. Al-Araj had just left the the Al-Maghara Hospital, where he was Hospital Director, and was on his way to the Health Directorate when a surface-to-air missile struck approximately 60 feet from the hospital and less than one foot from his car killing the doctor instantly. Activists on the ground report that Dr. Al-Araj was the target of that air strike.
Click here to read the full press release.
Young Aisha was in the comfort of her own home in Daraya with her 39 year old mother, when all of a sudden she heard the sounds of armed forces forcing their way into neighboring homes along with loud screams and the piercing sound of bullets being fired. This was repeated from house to house in the area, the noises kept getting closer and closer, Aisha was more terrified than she had ever felt in her life.
Helplessness and fear took over her body as the forces came closer and closer to her home. She was afraid of being detained or even worse shot and killed, when the sound of the forces came to her door she ran to the attic to seek refuge and hide.
But she could still hear everything…the sounds of the forces breaking into her home, her mother screaming, yelling and cursing at the intruders and the sudden sound of a round of bullets being fired, her mother’s voice was suddenly quiet. She heard the intruders move from room to room in her home until finally she heard quiet as they left.
After about 36 hours people from the neighborhood started to search from house to house to find survivors of the attacks. They found young Aisha sitting next to the body of her dead mother. She had been sitting there since the attack. She probably remained in the attic for some time until she finally felt it was safe to come down, yet she remained in her home out of fear.
The child stayed with a family in a safe place in Damascus, Aisha started showing signs of mental distress, and she hardly slept because she would constantly see nightmares. She became very distant, did not want to leave the house for any reason, and did not want to play like a normal child of her age. Aisha lost her appetite, and she would have temper tantrums and then burst into tears uncontrollably for the most insignificant reasons. She was very moody and distant and would start uncontrollably shaking and crying and it became increasingly difficult to deal with the little girl.
The family decided to take her in for a psychiatric evaluation with Besher, one of UOSSM’s therapists, she was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress syndrome. It took eight sessions for the therapist to earn Aisha’s trust. She had different sessions at the center including how to express herself, her feelings and emotions, through drawings and dialog boxes. Her family was also taught how to help them cope with her and how to let her cope with her feelings and fears. After a few months her condition started to improve, but unfortunately her family became displaced again and her treatment was abruptly stopped.
Children that experience this type of trauma and terror need treatment and help to deal with their feelings of despair and fear. This is what the war has done to Syria’s children.
The children in Syria have witnessed too many atrocities in the past five years. No child should ever have to bear witness a scene so brutal, so violent, that it could literally cause one to go into a state of shock from fear and distress. But yet again, a young child has been a part of a horrific, terrifying ordeal.
Omran is a nine year old boy from Dayr al Zour in Syria. One night when he was asleep with his family in his home, armed forces broke into the boy’s home in search of his father, once they found him they took and detained him. Out of fear of the return of the armed forces the rest of the family left the home and ran away to another area nearby.
The scene that left a scar on this child’s heart… the unforgettable scene that caused an unlimited amount of pain, fear, and terror was when young Omran witnessed the same armed forces that had detained his father, cutting off people’s heads and then dumping their lifeless bodies on top of each other, into cars.…
Imagine your child witnessing something so brutal. How would you feel? How would your child feel?
Time would pass and Omran’s father would be released, which led the family to seek refuge in Turkey. After a while Omran’s family started noticing patterns of distress and instability and signs of mental issues. Omran was taken to UOSSM’s Mental Health and Psycho Social Support Center in Reyhanli, Turkey. Young Omran was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress syndrome and has and is still receiving treatment and support from the center.
Time will only tell if Omran will be able to fully get past the violent scene he witnessed but with your help and support, UOSSM’s dedicated staff will do everything they can to help heal this young boy from this terrible ordeal.
On February 15 three hospitals were targeted and hit with airstrikes causing damage that led them to shut down. This is the latest in a series of attacks on hospitals and civilian facilities that have been on the rise in the past few months.
Click here to read the full press release.
DR. KHAULA SAWAH CEO OF UOSSM USA ATTENDS INVITATION ONLY EVENT “SUPPORTING SYRIA AND THE REGION 2016”
Dr. Sawah said, ”It was a very intense conference and UOSSM is proud to be among the dignitaries and one of the few Syrian NGOs that were invited to this event.”
Please click here to read the full press release.
Among all those burns you can still see her smile light up a room, despite her pain and agony, she is still smiling. This is a story of hope… a story of triumph over tragedy… this is the story of Kauthar.
It was March 15, 2015, the 15 month old baby was sleeping in her home while her mother, Ruwaidahaa, was outside hanging laundry to dry, when all of a sudden the familiar and scary sound of a warplane was overhead. Kauthar’s five brothers got scared and ran out of the house to their mom, in that same moment the warplane dropped an explosive barrel on the house, causing the roof to collapse. The explosion of the barrel caused the gas canister to explode, their home was on fire.
The desperate mother ran inside the burning home to save her child and found Kauthar’s body engulfed in flames. Completely forgetting about her own health and safety, Ruwaidahaa grabbed her child and ran outside the house and tried to put out the flames on Kauthar’s small body. Then, all of a sudden the mother collapsed and lost consciousness.
Ruwaidahaa regained consciousness after a few hours and found herself in a hospital in Gaziantep, Turkey, she found out that her baby was transported to another hospital in Adna. Kauthar sustained second and third degree burns on 70% of her small body. She did not have any surgery of any kind only changing of her bandages. The only part of Kauthar’s face that was not burnt was her mouth. This helped her to drink and eat somewhat normally.
After almost a month the mother and her child were reunited. Ruwaidahaa knew the sound of the little girl, whose body was covered in bandages, she could hear her cry and ran to her to hold her and comfort her.
Kauthar was admitted to Syrian Medical Center (Dar al Esthfaa) where she would stay for 10 days as representatives from UOSSM connected with a humanitarian organization in the US to arrange for her reconstructive surgeries and treatment.
Kauthar is currently in Galveston, TX along with her mother and will get treatment from Shriners Hospital for Children. It is estimated that her treatment will require between 4-6 months.
While young Kauthar was in Dar al Estshfaa she would point to her mouth and say it doesn’t hurt, she would say she can still eat, say some words and even smile. She doesn’t even realize that most of her body is scarred from the burns, she just smiles and lights up the room.
This story is one of many… different name same story. Some stories have better endings and many have worse. The problem is still the same though, young children who have lost their childhood to war, death and destruction and are always afraid.
Five year old Zainab is from a small village in the southern suburbs of Aleppo. She comes from a family of six; three girls, one boy and their parents. Just like many families in Syria, they were just trying to survive. In October 2015, their village came under fire. It was so bad that the family had to flee, they stayed at a relative’s home outside of their village in hopes of escaping the bloodshed. But that was not the case, there were so many airstrikes in the area and one struck the home they were seeking refuge in. Everyone in the family was wounded. Aisha, Zainab’s seven year old big sister lost her precious life on the way to the hospital, Zainab along with her mother and baby sister were transported to UOSSM’s Bab al Hawa Hospital, they were all in serious to critical condition. They were all taken into surgery to stop the bleeding from wounds and injuries sustained by shrapnel. After surgery they were taken into intensive care.
The injuries of Reem (the younger sister) were very complicated and she was in a lot of pain. She had to be transferred to a hospital in Turkey for treatment. Her small body could not handle the pain inflicted on her.
Zainab started to improve somewhat after two days. Doctor Firas, a thoracic surgeon at BHH performed emergency surgery to remove shrapnel that was lodged into her small body and inserted a chest tube to remove blood and fluids from her lungs.
After one week, Zainab’s condition started to improve. She always asks about her sisters. She still doesn’t know that her big sister was killed and that her little sister is still in Turkey for treatment. Many would say this story is one of the better ones, after all she still has all of her limbs and body parts, and most of her family is still alive. Maybe that is relatively speaking, is it too much to ask for a child to grow up in a safe environment? This is not just another story, it is the story of Zainab and her family in war torn Syria.
MATERNITY AND CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL AMONG THE LATEST CASUALTIES OF STRING OF AIRSTRIKES ON TARGETED MEDICAL FACILITIES
While people all over the world were celebrating Christmas, a string of attacks on hospitals continued. The latest victim was a maternity and children’s hospital was in Azzaz in the suburbs of Aleppo and is now out of service due to damage sustained from the strike. This hospital provided deliveries for over 260 patients a month that will now have to deliver elsewhere. 10 civilians that were in the area were also killed.
This is the latest in a string of attacks on medical facilities that seem to be happening on an almost daily basis for the past month. Click here to read the full press release.Read more