Child Medical Mission
Erbil, Iraq

Humanitarian Mission
VRL child mission: Abdul Rahman, post surgery in Erbil, Iraq.
VRL humanitarian mission
VRL child mission: Abdul Rahman, post surgery in Erbil, Iraq.

When Abdul Rahman was referred to Veterans Rebuilding Life, the 11-year old boy was in a catch-22. Injuries sustained to his left leg required he undergo leg surgery as soon as possible. Failure to receive treatment would leave him permanently disabled.

But Abdul Rahman’s diagnosis also revealed that he had a congenital heart defect, making it dangerous to undergo general anesthesia, required for his leg surgery.

Simultaneously, cardiac surgeons deemed it impossible to conduct heart surgery on Abdul Rahman while he was immobile, for fear of aggravating medical complications often associated with the surgical procedure, including blood clots, and stroke.

Meanwhile, Abdul Rahman had been bed-ridden in a cast that went from hips to knees for more than 6 weeks by the time Veterans Rebuilding Life found the child.

VRL fundraised for the Abdul Rahman and facilitated his full recovery with the support of the Iraqi Institute for Development (IID) an UN sanctioned nonprofit operating in Iraq. First, Abdul Rahman was examined by a VRL volunteer orthopedic surgeon in Erbil, Iraq and fitted with a leg brace to help him walk in preparation for the heart surgery.

Weeks later when he was deemed ready by the cardiac surgeon, Abdul Rahman underwent a successful heart surgery. The Veterans Rebuilding Life team met with the child and his mother through a video call facilitated by IID to check on him while in recovery.

VRL remained vigilant in advocating for Abdul Rahman’s medical treatment. Within weeks, the team received confirmation that a fellow nonprofit was conducting humanitarian operations within distance of Abdul, and was willing and able to pickup and pursue Abdul’s surgical procedure.

By the following month, Abdul underwent a successful leg surgery and is expected to make a full recovery, allowing him to walk without the support of leg braces. Veterans Rebuilding Life is grateful for all the support from the veteran and civilian community to help children, like Abdul Rahman in war torn countries.