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We treated people hurt by bombs, shrapnel and gun attacks; MERSEY PLASTIC SURGEON FLIES OUT TO MIDDLE EAST AS EMERGENCY MEDIC TO HELP TREAT VICTIMS OF WAR.

Byline: JOSHUA TAYLOR Social Affairs Writer joshua.taylor@trinitymirror.com @taylorjoshua1

A MERSEYSIDE plastic surgeon has spoken of the horrors of the war in Syria after helping to treat bombing and shooting victims.

Ali Juma, 53, who works at the Spire Murrayfield Hospital, in Wirral, described how he treated patients left injured by shrapnel and even a baby boy who was badly scalded in an accident at a refugee camp.

Mr Juma, a dad of two who lives in Aigburth, flew to Jordan - home to 635,000 refugees who have fled Syria - and spent eight days there as an emergency medic.

He said: "We treated people with all sorts of injuries from bombings, explosions, shrapnel, gunshots and even from domestic injuries.

"We were performing reconstructive surgery on the victims and I hope I've helped change some lives for the better - it was a wonderful experience, but a very humbling one.

"These people are homeless, penniless, they've lost friends and family but they're still proud and they were so grateful to us."

Mr Juma, who has been a plastic surgeon for 23 years, was born in Iraq and grew up in Beirut, Abu Dhabi and England.

Speaking about the horrors he saw, he said: "Because they live in very modest accommodation without proper kitchens, they cook and boil water on stoves on the floor and one little boy who was 10 months old had horrible injuries from scalding which we were able to treat.

"He had 15% scalds which had not been treated for three months but we were able to do skin grafts on a large portion of the scald."

Mr Juma flew to the Middle East as part of the LEAP Global Missions project to deliver medical aid.

He vowed to return to the region in the future. He said: "I will definitely return. I have discussed this with my wife and she is very supportive.

"The emotional side kicks in but so does the professional side and you know all those years of training didn't go amiss.

"The little kids break your heart, they all break your heart.

"You see people younger than me who look older than me because they have had so much stress in their lives. They're fighting and killing each other out there, but what matters most to us is preserving life and limb.

"I was proud to be out there from Liverpool. For me, it was about helping people and representing a city where I have lived for 20 years."

Watch the video See the video online at www.liverpoolecho.co.uk

CAPTION(S):

Ali Juma, a plastic surgeon at Wirral's Spire Murrayfield Hospital, looking after patients at a charity hospital in Jordan

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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Feb 4, 2016
Words:450
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