Doctors in the United Arab Emirates have performed life-saving emergency surgery on a Syrian girl and her brother after the siblings were crushed under rubble in February’s devastating earthquake.
Sham, nine, and her brother Omar, 15, were pulled from the rubble of an apartment building near Idlib, Syria after the earthquake on February 6.
UAE authorities flew the siblings to Abu Dhabi’s Burjeel hospital by a special medical aircraft, state news agency WAM reported Wednesday.
It said Sham’s life was threatened by gangrene that spread in the lower part of the body.
WAM said that Sheikha Fatima, the Mother of the Nation, had directed the medical mission.
“We are thankful to the leadership of the UAE and Her Highness Sheikha Fatima,” said Bashar Aleeq, a member of the Sham family who accompanied her to Abu Dhabi.
“Doctors in Istanbul told us that Sham required amputations totaling one hundred percent of the size of her limb as a result of the injuries she sustained, and because she did not receive the necessary treatment in a timely manner.”
“Her father strongly rejected the doctors’ suggestion. Then, we felt happy after that when it was decided for us to travel to the Emirates aboard a private plane carrying specialized medical personnel, which assured us that we’re in good hands and that our situation would be much better,” he added.
The devastating earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria killed more than 50,000 people, according to recent AFP poll.
A total of 5,951 people were killed across Syria, while Turkey recorded 44,374 deaths after the February 6 earthquake.
The new tally brings to 50,325 the total number of deaths caused by the disaster across both countries.