Gaza, May 15, (Pal Telegraph) – Yasser Ahmed Al Swasi is a 12 year old child living in the Gaza Strip where the ongoing siege still suffocates 1.5 million Gazans. Gazans are not permitted to leave the strip, even for medical care denials are frequent. Yasser hasn’t left his own bed for two years, as he suffers critical health problems. Yassers’ life depends on a respiratory machine, he cannot breathe on his own. The recent diagnosis of Yasser was quadriplegia, and punctured larynx. He has been transferred to an Egyptian hospital for an operation that will cost $150, 000. “The surgical operation will be performed by an American specialist doctor”.
Inquiring about his condition out of curiosity, I asked him “How are you Yasser?” In a very tiny voice full of sadness he replied “I have no chance to live as I am bedridden since two years ago, and nothing changed”. His condition is severe, due to paralysis he’s unable to do anything without assistance. Moving closer to him, I can see his body keeps shaking. Yasser requires moment to moment care from his parents. The medical device which enables him to breath is powered by electricity. He ans his family live in constant fear of power cuts.
Yasser has not received any education since his accident, due to his bedridden status. “Yasser is my oldest son. He is so clever and he always keeps good reputation among his peers and the people around” said the father. “As all young children who witnessed the recent war in Gaza, Yasser struggled emotionally during the bombing and air strikes” his father added. During my visit, I noticed a completely destroyed home closely to Yasser’s.
When the neighboring home was destroyed, Yasser was left without power for an extended period, forced to rely on backup generators to survive. “We were so scared of his health condition deteriorating during the war” said his father. His father nformed us his medical operation is so sensitive, and the operations necessary for improvement very costly. “No one helping us to afford this operation, it costs $150 000; I keep searching for associations to help us find funding to improve Yassers health condition” said the father.
To Whom it May Concern
The patient was transferred to the emergency department 18 months ago. At that time, the diagnosis was quadriplegia, punctured larynx and the patient required an artificial respiratory system.
After that period of observation, this diagnosis was confirmed: Quadriplegia, punctured larynx and the patient required an artificial respiratory system and X-rays were taken, medical examination, radiology on neck vertebrae and general X-rays. It was obvious that the second vertebra was broken due to abullet lodged in the patients neck.
The patient was admitted to the internal medicine department for treatment, critical observation, and for manual physiotherapy. What he now requires is an instrument to electrically stimulate the diaphragm and injection of stem cells in the spinal cord. The patient is still in the hospital undergoing medical treatment and physiotherapy.
The patient is under the care of: department of neurology, rehabilitation & physiotherapy department and intensive care department.
Dr. Mostafa Arafa, Hospital General Director: Hafez Mohamed Hafez
A child called Feras died 2 days ago due to Israeli siege. Yasser might face the same fate soon.
See the death of Feras here: http://www.paltelegraph.com/hot-topic/822-israeli-siege-kills-baby-aged-2
Story by Ayman Quader
PT reporter in Gaza