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Expertise and a run help teenager walk again after accident.

Teenager, who lost both her legs in accident, undergoes prosthetic rehabilitation at Dubai Healthcare City.

Dubai - Suha Bashayreh was 10 years old when both her legs were amputated after an accident in June 2007. Today, with intense prosthetic rehabilitation that she underwent at the Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC), the Jordanian teenager with a medical history of bilateral limb amputation is able to walk again.

Bashayreh's case is a medical tourism success story for the DHCC. Her case was handled by an interdisciplinary team of healthcare professionals and supported by donors at various intervals over the past six years. She first visited DHCC-based German Limbtech Orthopedic Technology Centre in May 2009 for prosthetic rehabilitation, and returned in 2010, 2014 and 2015. Her rehabilitation programme was supported by funds raised by 7EmiratesRun in partnership with Al Jalila Foundation.

In April this year, Bashayreh, who was accompanied by her father, Yousef, concluded a three-week rehabilitation programme that included new sockets and liners for the prostheses, physical therapy and walking and balance training.

The family has returned to Jordan with the assurance of a more independent life for the teenager. Her father said he was helpless when his daughter had the accident. "She couldn't walk. I was worried about her future, her plans to become a doctor. It pained me to see her grow out of her artificial legs and forced to walk on her stumps."

With a modest income for his family of nine children, and limited access to medical expertise, the support from the 7EmiratesRun team, which raises funds to get children back on their feet, in partnership with Al Jalila Foundation, gave him hope.

"I am deeply grateful to see my little girl smile again," he said. "She was barely 10 when she lost her legs."

The case illustrates the need for regular replacement of prostheses as children grow. A prosthetic leg by itself can cost Dh80,000 or more, depending on the type. It is estimated that in the age group of 12 to 21, a new prosthesis is required once every three to four years along with training to re-learn necessary skills to attain the highest functional level possible.

"Check-ups should be done after six to eight months because children like Bashayreh are in a very high mobility class, and experience difficulty as they grow," said Wendelin Lauxen, managing director and director of patient care at German Limbtech Orthopedic Technology Centre, and founder of 7EmiratesRun. "We hope that Bashayreh's story will inspire more support to help individuals with limb deformities."

Dr Fatma Al Sharaf, Senior Manager, Strategy and Partner Development, Dubai Healthcare City, said, "Bashayreh's case reminds us of the importance of sub-specialties like prosthetic rehabilitation and its life-changing impact. The availability of cutting-edge medical devices is integral to improving a patient's quality of life."

The DHCC will participate at Arabian Travel Market (ATM), the leading tourism exhibition, from May 4-7.

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Publication:Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Date:May 3, 2015
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