on the street?

Abdul Rahman, has a problem, his latest one: his Egyptian sponsor has cut ties with him and will not sponsor him as of Monday, meaning he has only limited time in the hospital after that and will have to return to Gaza, in a very poor state, without having healed and without the needed operations. The hospital care costs 1000 Egyptian pounds a day, roughly $200 a day.

He has a seething open wound on his leg, also a result of the injury that day. His wound is taking a long time to heal. It must first heal properly before doctors can operate on it to fully address the wound. His back is riddled with bedsores. And the larger issue of his waist-down paralysis remains. If he had the money to stay in hospital, each problem would be addressed when time has allowed for partial healing and is right for operating.

He needs at least two more months in hospital before he can have the first urgent operation on his leg. After that, doctors will assess his overall condition and whether the back operation is possible.

The Cario-based Arab Doctors’ Union, which covers much of the medical bills of Palestinians from Gaza in Egyptian hospitals has, I’m told, said Abed’s case is ‘hopeless’ and has refused to financially aid him any further. I am asking people who have contacts with W Bank rights groups or with the PA itself to see if the PA has been notified about Abdul Rahman and whether they will pay for Abed’s medical bills, especially given that he was injured by the Israeli army. I’m astonished if they will not support him.

As it is now, without a sponsor, he will be heading home, at least able to see his parents –but to an area with insufficient medical equipment and care, due to the siege. Right now, we’ve pooled our money and have enough to keep him in hospital for the next 3 or 4 days.

One of the largest obstacles in getting financial aid for him seems to be that he requires such long-term hospital care and in the end will not be a happy ending. He would be thrilled if he can sit in a wheelchair, but without the back operation, this won’t be possible.

It will be hard to convince donors to spend their money on such a sad case which doesn’t promise 100% healing, but if anyone knows of an organization or sponsor who would take on his case, I will put them in contact with Abed’s doctors, his Egyptian humanitarian aide, and he himself.

The other day, he was put into his wheelchair. Samir reports how Abed sat in it for an hour, so happy to be upright and starting to take control of himself again. But he paid for this brief luxury, lying in agonizing pain afterwards as his back can’t handle his meagre weight.

The thought that this teen might not even have the pleasure of sitting in a wheelchair rather than be forced to lie in bed all day every day… this thought is too terrible. Worse is the thought that he might give in to sickness as a result of his open sores not healing.

Please see earlier entries for further info on Abed’s case.

On a distressing note of moral absence, it seems a US-based man may be exploiting Abed’s situation. Osama Elshamy, the President of an organization called To Paradise Now, has been collecting money which he claims is going to Abdul Rahman’s expenses. Yet, while Samir, the Egyptian who has been volunteering his time and working very hard for Abed, has doggedly tried to get Elshamy to actually put the money towards Abed’s expenses, he has thus far been rebuffed by Elshamy who days ago left Egypt without having detailed where the money has gone. As Samir has been paying out of his own pocket, he is very aware that the money has thus far not gone to Abed.

For the benefit of the doubt, it could be a delayed procedure.

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