2 Middle East children have life-changing surgeries in Texas

By Rachel McNeill - Anchor

HOUSTON - Mohammed Jammous, 14 and Fatima Asafar, 18, are a long ways from home.

Mohammed lost part of his leg in a shell explosion late August and is the first Syrian child injured in the conflict to come to Texas for donated care.

Fatima is from Israel's West Bank and has had a painful dislocated hip all her life.

Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Greg Stocks explained, "Over the past four years, since age 14, she's lived with severe pain and is now at the point where she's having difficulty sleeping, having difficulty focusing in school and concentrating, can't stand or walk more than five minutes."

Stocks and Dr. Gary Brock with Texas Orthopedic Hospital and Fondren Orthopedic have both volunteered their surgical skills overseas in the past.

So when they were approached by The Palestine Children's Relief Fund, they welcomed Mohammed and Fatima to Houston with open arms.

Brock said, "I think for a lot of physicians, all we need to know is that there's a child who needs care and we're happy to provide it."

The PCRF is an American nonprofit, non-political, humanitarian organization dedicated to healing the wounds of war, occupation and poverty in the Middle East.

Dr. Brock will reconstruct Mohammed's leg so he can be custom fitted with a prosthetic donated by Care Prosthetics and Orthotics.

David Beaty explained, "We'll work with Dr. Brock and Texas Orthopedic Hospital and get (Mohammed) the best possible prosthesis he can get, get him back to his country, get him walking again, get him some therapy, make sure he's doing OK with the device before he leaves."

With a successful hip replacement, doctors said Fatima can even become a mother one day.

Hatim Khayyal with PCRF said, "It's going to change their life dramatically. Obviously in the case of Fatima, she lives with pain every single day. So the procedure will eliminate that and the same thing with Mohammed. It will provide him mobility and obviously that's going to change his life from the way it is now."

Every year, the Palestine Children's relief Fund helps about 4500 children in the Middle East in need of specialized surgeries that are performed during medical missions abroad and here in the United States.

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