Eight-year-old Razan* will bear the scars of Yemen’s civil war forever.
BREAKING: We've just heard from Razan's family, and thanks to our supporters, she can see again! See for yourself here.
This is Razan*
She lives in Yemen, the worst place to be a child right now.
Razan* was hit by a big piece of flying shrapnel as she and her family ran from shelling during an air strike in Hodeidah.
While they fled, Razan’s family split into different groups to make travelling easier. Razan’s mother and siblings fled with her uncle, while Razan left with her father, Samir*, on his motorcycle.
While they were leaving on the motorcycle, an airstrike hit another vehicle on the same street. A piece of shrapnel from the blast hit Razan in her eye, and immediately caused heavy bleeding and intense pain. As the heavy shelling continued, Samir was forced to continue their journey for safety, and only had time to wrap a shawl around her head.
After an hour they arrived in Almrawah district and Razan’s eye was still bleeding heavily. Samir took her to a nearby hospital to try and stop the bleeding and treat her eye, but the hospital wasn’t specialized enough to help. They advised Samir to take her to a specialist eye hospital, but the family couldn’t afford the bus-fare.
Razan spent five days at home in intense pain, while her eye became more inflamed. Her condition kept deteriorating and she could no longer see through her injured eye. Finally, Samir found someone who could lend him enough money for the transport costs to hospital, and he rushed her there immediately. When they arrived, they met a member of Save the Children Team, who referred Razan for emergency surgery. After her surgery, Save the Children then referred Razan to a hospital in Sana’a for surgery.
Razan hopes that the conflict will end soon so she can return to school. Currently Razan’s school is next to a government building that is often targeted by airstrikes, so it’s no longer safe for her to attend.
*Names changed to protect identity.
Her father Samir told us:
“Following heavy airstrikes in Hodeidah, we decided to move to a safer place, far from the fighting. We decided to split into different groups while we were leaving to make the journey easier.
While I took Razan on my motorbike, an airstrike hit a vehicle that was only a few meters away. Some shrapnel from the blast hit Razan in her eye.
Razan was crying and clinging to me with fear and pain. I couldn’t do anything for my daughter, so I bandaged her eyes with my shawl to try and stop the bleeding, and continued our journey on the motorbike. At that moment, I just wished I had been injured, not my daughter.
I took Razan to a local hospital where they performed first aid, but told us to go to a specialist eye hospital [because they couldn’t fix her injury]. I just couldn’t find enough money to take my daughter to hospital. Razan was suffering for five days. It hurt so much to see her like that and I was constantly scared that my daughter would lose her eye. I felt powerless.
I tried to check that she could still see out of her injured eye. Razan always said the same thing, ‘yes I can see, but it hurts’. Once I covered her uninjured eye and asked her how many birds were on the tree outside. She said two, but there were four. Her answer broke my heart as I was sure she’d lost her sight forever and I couldn’t help her.”
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