Hussein, 15
Zahle, Lebanon

“Everything was destroyed”

Hussein is 15 years old. At the end of 2016, he was injured during the bombing of Idlib, in Syria, in which half of his family was killed. He had one leg amputated and took refuge in Lebanon. Handicap International provides him with rehabilitation sessions and crutches to help get around.

When he arrived in Lebanon at the end of 2016, Hussein had lived through six years of war. In October 2016 he lost his leg and half of his family in a bombing raid. When he talks about it, the teenager is almost surprised the tragedy didn’t happen any sooner. “We lived close to a military base. We saw the planes taking off every morning for bombing raids.” Hussein’s family were hit during the night. “It was around 3 a.m. when our house was bombed. My mother and many of my brothers and sisters were killed.”

Hussein was very seriously injured. He was rushed to hospital where he had his left leg amputated. The teenager will never be the same again. Devastated by these events, he decided to leave the country. Without telling his father, he fled to Lebanon. He only called him after he had arrived. “My father asked me why I had left and if I wanted to return to Syria one day. I told him I would never go back. My life there was destroyed. Here we live in tents and have nothing, but at least there are no planes flying overhead.”

Extremely depressed, the teenager talks about his life before the conflict began. “I was full of energy and loved spending time with my friends. Today they are all either dead or refugees in other countries. I don’t think about the future, I don’t have one.” Cynthia, the physiotherapist who is taking Hussein through his rehabilitation explains, “He will shortly be starting psychological support sessions. Hussein’s injury is recent and he has suffered a huge trauma. His mental recovery is just as important as the physiotherapy. We cannot leave him in a state of psychological distress.”