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Leading by example. Ismael overcomes disability and rebuilds his life as an active member of society

11 February 2019

While he was still in high school Ismael was in a serious car accident which left him with paralyzed and bedridden. Here he tells us about living with his injury and how he managed to overcome his trauma to be an active member of society and the breadwinner for his family.

In January 2008 my life changed forever when I was in a serious car accident while riding my motorbike. I was in a coma for one week and came around with multiple fractures throughout my body and almost completely paralyzed in my lower body.
At first I received treatment in a few hospitals in Idlib Province. During the first phase of my treatment, doctors asked my father to buy medical equipment and items to ¬x the broken bones and vertebras of my body.



My father had to sell a piece of his land to pay for my treatment. Six weeks later my brother broke the devastating news. I would never walk again. It felt like time stopped. I felt such a heavy burden on my family and became depressed. I felt that all my dreams and ambitions in life had vanished.

Due to my parents’ steadfast support I did start to adapt to my new situation and became determined to rebuild my life despite all the suffering and difficulties. I had difficulty sleeping, moving and going to the toilet but my family were dedicated to supporting me and convinced me to get married. I got married and became responsible for a family, so I had to look for a job to cover the costs of medication and living. I started a small shop to sell food items.

In December 2017 life changed again with a visit from the War Survivors Assistance Programme of HIHFAD. They gave me sessions in psychosocial support and physiotherapy. They taught me a lot of useful exercises to strengthen my lower limbs as well as giving me the medicines I needed, a wheelchair and a pneumatic bed to treat the bedsores from which I suffered.

I continued the exercises at home myself and the HIHFAD followed up with periodic visits. During one of their visits I asked if they could help me and a suitable job to improve my living conditions. They took me seriously and arranged an interview to be an Awareness Sessions Facilitator for the War Survivors Assistance Project. I got the job! I was so happy as I achieved two goals. Firstly, I can support myself and my family and be an active member of society and life. Secondly, I am working with disabled and injured people, sharing my experiences and inspiring them to rebuild their own lives and go back to society.

Ismael adds “I am so happy in my current job where we visit injured and disabled people. interact with them and provide moral and psychological support for them to integrate them into society and encourage them to start a new life depending on themselves.”