After years of enduring chronic pain with every step, Yousif would lose his leg by the time was twelve years old.
Yousif’s leg was crushed by shrapnel in the war–torn nation of Iraq. He had endured multiple surgeries in what’s left of Iraq’s medical infrastructure.
Because of limited supplies and personnel, Yousif’s surgeries were unsuccessful and left his legs uneven, making it extremely difficult and painful to walk.
As he grew, so would do his medical problems. Left untreated, he would have lost his leg by age twelve after suffering years of chronic pain with every step. Yousif’s story is all too common in today’s Iraq, where the ongoing violence has increased, since the U.S. withdrawal of military forces.
The life expectancy of Iraq’s children has dramatically declined in recent years, according to the BBC world news report. Iraq’s adult population was decimated after ten years of war. Children now make up 56% of Iraq’s total population of 33 million.
But overwhelming odds are no match for the joint operation strategy: The Shriner’s Hospital for Children approved Yousif’s care on a charity basis, provided that VRL could raise the total cost of a round–trip flight from to the U.S. hospital, where he was welcomed by the volunteer medical staff.
Yousif’s leg surgery was a success. The attending medical team confirmed that he will be able to keep both his legs, which will continue growing in a healthy manner, all thanks to the generous support of a handful of strangers.