The tenacity and plight of an 8-year-old refugee girl from Syria caught the attention of the internet when she was photographed using tin cans as makeshift prosthetic legs. Now, thanks to social media, she has been given a leg up on her disability.
Maya Merhi has a rare congenital disorder that caused her to be born without legs. As a means of keeping her off of the hot dusty ground, her father – who has the same disorder – constructed prosthetics for his daughter out of tunafish cans and PVC pipe.
After her family was forced to flee their home in Alello, the contraptions allowed Maya to attend school and maneuver her refugee camp in northwestern Idlib without having to crawl on the ground from place-to-place, as she was previously accustomed to doing.
When the striking photos of Maya’s predicament started being shared on the internet, however, a Turkish prosthetics specialist named Dr. Mehmet Zeki Culcu reached out to the Turkish Red Crescent so he could fit Maya with proper prosthetics.
Thanks to the help of the humanitarian organization, Maya and her father were flown out to Istanbul, Turkey for medical help. Culcu then fitted the youngster with a new set of prosthetics earlier this week – and he provided the life-saving treatment free of charge.
According to news sources, Maya couldn’t help but shed tears of joy after she was fitted with her new legs. Though it may take her several months to adjust to the prosthetics, she is already excited to be taking her first steps on her new appendages.
“She is smiling, in good health and learning to walk,” Culcu told Al Jazeera.
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Be Sure And Share This Sweet Story With Your Friends – Photo by Al Jazeera