Abdulrahman's Story

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Abdulrahman's return to school was a long awaited journey.

Abdulrahman is 11 years old and lives in Tal Al Sultan in Rafah, Gaza, with his parents and 4 brothers and sisters. His father, a construction worker has been unable to find work for several years and the family struggle to meet their basic needs.

Abdulrahman was born with muscular dystrophy, a condition which causes a range of issues such as: muscle wasting, poor balance, inability to walk, limited range of movement, and joint contractures. When screened by our medical team at the beginning of the project, Abdulrahman had very weak leg muscles, a limited range of movement especially in the knee and ankle joints, balancing problems, and difficulty in walking. As a result of this Abdulrahman was withdrawing socially and becoming very quiet and introverted. 

abdulrahman portrait.pngAbdulrahman and his mother enjoying arts and crafts
At the start of the project an intervention plan was prepared to prevent further deterioration and to improve leg movement, joint rotation, and his balance. The plan also treated the ulcers on one of his feet. His mother was trained to continue his exercise routines with him to continue to improve his mobility to the extent possible and also to change the dressings on his foot. Abdulrahman was able to receive counselling and therapy to further support him. His family commented at the end of the project on the both the change in Abdulrahman’s communication and wellbeing, and most notably how much happier he seemed!

The most remarkable achievement, as a result of his improved health and mobility, was his return to school. He had dropped out of school for two years. He was in the fourth year at that time. The project team liaised with the school and facilitated his return.  With his improved mobility and self-confidence he maintained full attendance at school, and completed the fifth year successfully

Abdulrahman was one of 190 children with disabilities who benefited from this project providing emergency community based rehabilitation services for children with disabilities in southern Gaza, which was completed in 2015.