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My nephew comes from a poor farming family, and at the time, he was tilling with a small plowing machine when a strange group of people ran past him. I don’t know if they were fighters. A sniper was following them, and shot Muhammed. He was 17 years old at the time. Once the bullet hit, he fell, and his leg got caught in the machine’s blades. As he struggled, his other leg got caught. Minutes after, a stranger came to his rescue and turned the machine off before it got the rest of his body.

He was taken to the hospital, still attached to the blades.

By the time the doctors freed his legs from the blades, the damage was already done. He was conscious throughout. The loss of his legs, the doctors trying to stitch what was left of one of his legs to save his intestines…. It was horrible.

Afterwards, he was brought to Jordan, wrapped in a blanket. We had to bury his legs here in Jordan as his mother requested us to do. I was waiting for him to die any day, but he didn’t. He lost both of his legs and his anus. He defecates through a colostomy bag connected to veins in his lower torso.

He stayed like this, on painkillers and drugs at the hospital, for a year and two months. He was turning into a skeleton of skin and bones. Slowly he started getting better. If I showed you his photo now, you won’t believe that this is the same guy who lost the lower half of his body. He insisted on living, so he got better. Slowly he started sitting up using what was left of one of his legs and the pillows I used to put underneath him to compensate the loss of his other leg.

He’s my nephew. I empathize with him a lot. I used to help him shower, clean up and dress even though it was hard for me to do all of that, but I don’t regret it, because I always felt that God was helping me. He stayed with me at my house for about eight months.

I got tired [of] asking for help from different international and local organizations. My poor husband had to buy the needed catheters by himself and they were very expensive. The cheap ones were around 4-6 JOD and the good ones were 10 JOD each. Finally some people told me that I might find help at the Church of Annunciation. A good man there helped us. He started bringing me the catheters, medical gauze and tape, which was very expensive as we have to change his wounds every day. He even got us an electric wheelchair that was worth about 1200 JOD. That helped a lot.

In the end, I could not survive taking care of him and my five children. My husband had also been wounded and was exhausted. Muhammed went to the camp, and they were not equipped to help him. He was tired of the humiliation and isolation there, the lack of mobility. He returned to Syria in his suit, so proud he sent me the picture. Months later, he is medically regressing. They do not have the medical services in Daraa to help him. Nor the colostomy bags. He is dying. But he is not being allowed to return to Jordan.

– Um Ahmed, Muhammed’s aunt