"I Want My Legs Back"

Posted By: Anita Mamgai Posted On: Nov 04, 2023
"I don't want a false leg," Layan al-Baz says.

"I don't want a false leg," Layan al-Baz says.

Layan al-Baz cries in agony when the effect fades of the painkillers she receives after her legs were amputated -- the result of a strike on Gaza as Israel fights Hamas.

"I don't want a false leg," the 13-year-old Palestinian tells AFP in Khan Yunis's Nasser hospital, in the southern Gaza Strip, where getting artificial limbs was nearly impossible anyway.

The impoverished Palestinian territory, under a crippling Israeli-led blockade for years and besieged since war erupted on October 7, suffers severe shortages of food, water and fuel, and medical supplies are scarce.

"I want them to put my legs back, they can do it," Layan al-Baz says in desperation from her bed at Nasser's paediatric ward.

Every time she opens her eyes as the painkillers wear off, she sees her bandaged stumps.

Her mother, Lamia al-Baz, 47, says Layan was wounded last week in a strike on Al-Qarara district of Khan Yunis, part of Israel's unrelenting military campaign in response to bloody Hamas attacks on October 7 that Israeli officials say killed more than 1,400 people, most of them civilians.

According to the Hamas-run health ministry, nearly 9,500 people have been killed in Gaza since the war erupted, including at least 3,900 children.

Four of them were Baz's relatives, killed in the strike that cost the 13-year-old's legs, her mother says.

Lamia says two of her daughters, Ikhlas and Khitam, and two grandchildren including a newborn baby were killed when the Israeli strike hit Ikhlas's home. The family were there to support Ikhlas who had just given birth.

Their bodies were in shreds," says Lamia, who had to identify her daughters' bodies at a morgue. "I identified Khitam by her earrings and Ikhlas by her toes.

Layan, her face and arms dotted with injuries, asks: "How will I return to school when my friends walk and I can't?"

Lamia tries to reassure her: "I will be by your side. It will all be fine. You still have a future ahead of you."

- 'I'm still alive' -

At the hospital's burns unit, 14-year-old Lama al-Agha and her sister Sara, 15, lie in adjacent beds.

They are treated after an October 12 strike that killed Sara's twin Sama and brother Yahya, 12, says their mother, sitting between the two hospital beds and struggling to hold back tears.

Stitches and burn scars are visible on Lama's half-shaved head and her forehead.

"When they transferred me here, I asked the nurses to help me sit up and I discovered that my leg was amputated," the 14-year-old recalls.

I've been through a lot of pain but I thank God that I'm still alive.

Lama is determined not to let her injury decide her future.

"I'll get an artificial leg and continue my studies, so I can achieve my dream of becoming a doctor. I will be strong for me and for my family," she says.

Hospital director Nahed Abu Taaema explains that due to the massive number of casualties and dwindling resources, medics are often left with no choice but to amputate limbs to prevent life-threatening complications.

"We have to choose between saving a patient's life or putting it at risk while trying to save their injured leg," says Abu Taaema.

- Dashed football dream -

Sporting a green football jersey and matching shorts, Ahmad Abu Shahmah, 14, uses crutches to walk around the ruins of his family's home in Khan Yunis.

Now surrounded by several of his cousins, Abu Shahmah is at the courtyard where he used to play football.

But the building was destroyed in a strike that killed six of his cousins and an aunt.

"When I woke up (after surgery) I asked my brother, 'where is my leg?'" he recalls.

He lied to me and said it was right there, and that I couldn't feel it because of the anaesthetics.

The following day, "my cousin told me the truth", says Abu Shahmah.

I cried a lot. The first thing I thought about was that I will no longer be able to walk or play football like I would every day. I signed up to an academy one week before the war.

Abu Shahmah supports FC Barcelona, while his cousins are die-hard fans of Real Madrid.

Promoted

One of them, Farid Abu Shahmah, says that if he "could turn back time and return Ahmad his leg, I'd be ready to give up Real and become a Barcelona fan like him."

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

Source: NDTV
Related Posts:

Comment on Post

Leave a comment

If you have a News HTS user account, your address will be used to display your profile picture.

POPULAR News

icon
Bussiness She moved to the US from India at a tender age of 11. She was just 15 when she launched her technology startup. She now employs 10 people in her firm, valued at a whopping ₹100 crore. This is the life story of Pranjali Awasthi, the 16-year-old Indian protégé who has proved age is merely a number when it comes to entrepreneurship.
icon
Bussiness The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council has chosen to delegate the taxation of Extra Neutral Alcohol (ENA), which is used for the manufacture of portable alcohol, to the states. Furthermore, it has reduced the levy rates on millet flour and molasses.
icon
Latest News Ed Sheeran noted that he's hosted friends' weddings in the area. Ed Sheeran noted that he's hosted friends' weddings in the area. Ed Sheeran noted that he's hosted friends' weddings in the area. Ed Sheeran noted that he's hosted friends' weddings in the area.
icon
Bussiness Bengaluru: As part of its pre-Series B funding round, elder care platform Age Care Labs has raised $11 million in fresh capital from fintech unicorn Zerodha's investment arm Rainmatter Capital and proptech investment firm Gruhas. Bengaluru: As part of its pre-Series B funding round, elder care platform Age Care Labs has raised $11 million in fresh capital from fintech unicorn Zerodha's investment arm Rainmatter Capital and proptech investment firm Gruhas.
icon
Sports Asian Games, Javelin Throw Highlights: Neeraj Chopra Claims Gold With 88.88m Throw, Kishore Jena Bags Silver
icon
Technology Elon Musk-owned social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter) has distributed nearly $20 million in payments to content creators on the app, said Chief Executive Linda Yaccarino in a post on Friday. Elon Musk-owned social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter) has distributed nearly $20 million in payments to content creators on the app, said Chief Executive Linda Yaccarino in a post on Friday.
icon
Technology Instagram is not working on a dedicated app for iPad users and they shouldn't expect one anytime soon. That's the message directly from Adam Mosseri, who claims the company has other priorities before launching the app for iPad. Instagram is not working on a dedicated app for iPad users and they shouldn't expect one anytime soon. That's the message directly from Adam Mosseri, who claims the company has other priorities before launching the app for iPad.
icon
Politics Hitting out at the Telangana government over parivaarwad, corruption and farmers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday promised the poll-bound state a National Turmeric Board and a Central Tribal University in Mulugu, as he unveiled projects worth Rs 13,500 crore.
icon
World Noelia Voigt, hailing from Utah, bagged the title of Miss USA during the 2023 pageant's grand finale at Reno, Nevada's Grand Sierra Resort. The thrilling event unfolded on a Friday night and was televised live on the CW Network. Savannah Gankiewicz, representing Hawaii, secured the position of first-runner-up.
icon
Science Pollen grains analysis helps understand how the first humans migrated from Africa across Europe and Asia, research in Science Advances says. Pollen grains analysis helps understand how the first humans migrated from Africa across Europe and Asia, research in Science Advances says.
icon
Latest News As excitement brews for Amazon's highly anticipated Prime Big Deal Days, this piece of advice by the company's founder and executive chairman, Jeff Bezos, is something every consumer should keep in mind amid economic uncertainties. In an interview with CNN, Bezos expressed concerns about the current economic landscape, stating, "Things are slowing down. You're seeing layoffs in many sectors of the economy."
icon
Technology Google Pixel Launch Event 2023 Live Updates: Can Google Pixel 8 Take On iPhone 15? Updated 9 minutes ago
icon
Horoscope A post shared by Mariana Louis (@persephonessister) A post shared by Mariana Louis (@persephonessister) A post shared by Mariana Louis (@persephonessister) A post shared by Mariana Louis (@persephonessister) A post shared by Mariana Louis (@persephonessister)
icon
World The United States warned against any "escalation" in the Middle East in the wake of Israel's war with Hamas, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Sunday, hours after the Pentagon moved to step up military readiness in the region. The United States warned against any "escalation" in the Middle East in the wake of Israel's war with Hamas, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Sunday, hours after the Pentagon moved to step up military readiness in the region.
icon
Life Style Discover an array of captivating restaurants and exciting events that beckon you to indulge in unforgettable experiences. From culinary gems offering delectable dishes to cultural exhibitions celebrating artistry and heritage, these venues promise to satisfy your senses. Whether you're a food enthusiast seeking gourmet delights or an art aficionado craving inspiration, there's something for everyone to savor. Embark on a journey of taste, culture, and entertainment at these must-visit destinations.
icon
Latest News
icon
Technology Dell, the Texas-based technology giant, may be planning fresh investment in its cutting-edge Research and Development (R&D) centre located in Bengaluru. The company already operates a prominent R&D centre in the city. At the global level, Dell operates around 25 manufacturing facilities, with 14 of these dedicated to R&D.
icon
Latest News Vijay Dashmi is a major cultural festival in India. Vijay Dashmi is a major cultural festival in India. Vijay Dashmi is a major cultural festival in India. Vijay Dashmi is a major cultural festival in India. Vijay Dashmi is a major cultural festival in India.
icon
Technology Grand Theft Auto fans are mercilessly mocking a GTA VI (GTA 6) leaker for their inaccurate predictions of the announcement date. Grand Theft Auto fans are mercilessly mocking a GTA VI (GTA 6) leaker for their inaccurate predictions of the announcement date.
icon
Latest News The luxurious home has also been featured as the location for other TV projects. The luxurious home has also been featured as the location for other TV projects. The luxurious home has also been featured as the location for other TV projects. The luxurious home has also been featured as the location for other TV projects.
icon
Latest News Humans of Bombay (HOB) recently filed a case in Delhi High Court against People of India (POI) over protecting their intellectual property. The platform's founder Karishma Mehta has now taken to Instagram to address the controversy around the case and also inform that the court has ‘upheld their contentions'.
icon
Latest News A video capturing impatient passengers rushing to enter a train through a narrow opening of the door, each vying for a coveted spot inside, was shared online. The video was posted on Reddit with a caption that reads, “Automatic door in Mumbai trains.” The clip shows how the passengers hurled themselves through the half-open doors.
icon
Politics Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate several development projects and also address a public meeting to be organised by BJP at Nizamabad in Telangana on October 3. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate several development projects and also address a public meeting to be organised by BJP at Nizamabad in Telangana on October 3.
icon
Technology Amazon sale 2023: In the ever-evolving landscape of technology, staying ahead of the curve often means upgrading your computer accessories and enhancing your storage solutions. Whether you're a seasoned professional, a casual user, or anything in between, Amazon's Sale 2023 is here to empower your tech journey like never before. This highly anticipated event promises an array of exclusive discounts on a wide range of computer peripherals and storage devices, making it the perfect opportunity to supercharge your computing experience.
icon
Bussiness With respect to audits of various branches of housing finance company DHFL, 18 auditors have been penalised and debarred by the National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA). With respect to audits of various branches of housing finance company DHFL, 18 auditors have been penalised and debarred by the National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA).