Elias* is a 39-year-old married man and father of one. He used to work at a mobile phone shop in Homs city in Syria. After his neighborhood experienced open fighting, Elias and his family were forced to move to a rural area of Homs.
On May 6, 2012, on his way to work, an explosion took place. Not remembering anything other than the explosion, Elias awoke to find himself in the hospital and his leg amputated below the knee. The shock and bewilderment was indescribable. As a result of his new physical disability, he lost his job and had trouble finding new employment.
Elias stayed at home for almost two years until he was referred to International Medical Corps in August 2014. Following a technical assessment and evaluation, International Medical Corps enrolled him into a prosthetic limb treatment program, which was supported by DFATD/Plan Canada. As part of the treatment, Elias also received a carbonic foot and artificial leg. It is light, durable and suitable for athletics.
Elias was very enthusiastic and eager to receive the artificial limb. When he first wore his new artificial limb, he was able to walk for the first time in two years. Once rehabilitation was completed, he immediately began walking for about 7-10 hours on a daily basis. Then, a week after completing his treatment, Elias got a new job as a taxi driver. Though the car is manual transmission, he feels fully confident controlling the vehicle. “If the car stopped on a hill, I can take off with my manual car without returning back a single centimeter,” he said.
Elias’s life has changed dramatically; from disability to productivity, from being helpless and dependent to an active, independent person. Elias is once again living with dignity. Psychologically, he is very optimistic, and thinks about the future in a positive way. Moreover, he plans to rent a car and has offered to pick up other prosthetic patients in Homs and transport them to International Medical Corps-supported centers in Damascus.
Elias continues to express his appreciation and gratitude for the International Medical Corps services and support he received, which has improved his life for the better. He said: “I remember the exact date of receiving my prosthetic aid because it was the beginning of my new life.”
* Names have been changed to protect the identity of those featured in this post