This story is one of many… different name same story. Some stories have better endings and many have worse. The problem is still the same though, young children who have lost their childhood to war, death and destruction and are always afraid.

Five year old Zainab is from a small village in the southern suburbs of Aleppo. She comes from a family of six; three girls, one boy and their parents. Just like many families in Syria, they were just trying to survive. In October 2015, their village came under fire. It was so bad that the family had to flee, they stayed at a relative’s home outside of their village in hopes of escaping the bloodshed. But that was not the case, there were so many airstrikes in the area and one struck the home they were seeking refuge in. Everyone in the family was wounded. Aisha, Zainab’s seven year old big sister lost her precious life on the way to the hospital, Zainab along with her mother and baby sister were transported to UOSSM’s Bab al Hawa Hospital, they were all in serious to critical condition. They were all taken into surgery to stop the bleeding from wounds and injuries sustained by shrapnel. After surgery they were taken into intensive care.

The injuries of Reem (the younger sister) were very complicated and she was in a lot of pain. She had to be transferred to a hospital in Turkey for treatment. Her small body could not handle the pain inflicted on her.

Zainab started to improve somewhat after two days. Doctor Firas, a thoracic surgeon at BHH performed emergency surgery to remove shrapnel that was lodged into her small body and inserted a chest tube to remove blood and fluids from her lungs.

After one week, Zainab’s condition started to improve. She always asks about her sisters. She still doesn’t know that her big sister was killed and that her little sister is still in Turkey for treatment. Many would say this story is one of the better ones, after all she still has all of her limbs and body parts, and most of her family is still alive. Maybe that is relatively speaking, is it too much to ask for a child to grow up in a safe environment? This is not just another story, it is the story of Zainab and her family in war torn Syria.

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