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Muhammad the Shepherd Child… between Life and Death

  
  
  
    
17/07/2022

Taiz-Muhammad Farhan

In Al-Rawda Hospital in the city of Taiz, which is under the control of government forces, the child, Muhammad Ghaleb Saif, 15 years old, is lying in a painful precarious state of health.

He was hospitalized at the beginning of July from his village of Haraz in the Jabal Habashi district, west of Taiz, after he had been injured due to a landmine explosion. He was transferred to the city of Taiz, where the journey took 4 hours, according to his mother. He was in a serious condition as a result of the non-stop bleeding from his leg, which was injured in a landmine explosion, and he is still lying in the hospital until today, July 15, 2022.

His mother experienced mixed feelings of pain and fear while he was being transported in a non-ambulance car, she said to "SAM" as she watched her child struggle with death whereas hi screams of pain did not stop. For her, it was like a terrifying nightmare that she never imagined in her life. She never thought that she would ever see her son, on whom she relies in her life, lying and soaking in his blood between life and death, while shrapnel scattered throughout the different parts of his skinny body, as she describes.

She continues speaking with many expressions of sadness and sorrow as she describes what happened to her son Muhammad: “He went out, as usual, to graze sheep in the mountains near their village of Haraz, one of the villages of the western countryside of Taiz, where he used to head every day so that he could tend the sheep, which is the only source of income for the family."

Muhammad left school after his father’s death, as his mother confirmed that his father suffered a heart attack which he died from. Muhammad had to take care of the sheep since he is the eldest child and since the mother can only rely on him to provide the basic living expenses and requirements by grazing sheep.

One day, this July, Muhammad went out, as usual, to graze sheep. Little did he know that he was about to be permanently disabled and his family was going to experience the most darkly miserable time in their life. His mother describes this day as a painful day and she faced the shock in tears, "When I heard the explosion of a mine and I knew that it exploded in my son. I was screaming and crying and I lost the ability to hold together because of the trauma I incurred."

She adds, recalling what happened, that his brother was the one who carried him after he fell to the ground almost dead, and one of his legs with which he stepped on the mine was amputated and he was bleeding profusely, “I was screaming and calling out for saving my son from death.”

Her voice was tempered with sadness while talking about what happened. She looked exhausted as she was watching the condition of her son, Muhammad, who was in pain from the effects of the mine explosion. He was unable even to sit, as his mother confirms, and all the time he was in pain and could sleep only after taking painkillers.

In addition to the mother’s suffering while experiencing the pain of her son who lies on the bed of Al-Rawda Hospital in Al-Qahera district, she is also suffering a lot in order to pay for the high costs of his treatment, considering that their financial situation does not enable them to continue treatment in the hospital. This prompted activists on social media to launch a humanitarian appeal, explaining the situation of the family whose child is lying in the hospital because of his various injuries and amputation of his leg due to a landmine from the remnants of what the Houthi group planted in the areas it controlled in the Jabal Habashi District, as she confirmed.

Muhammed had his leg amputated but his hope was great, as his mother says, that he would recover and find a prosthesis which would enable him to resume his normal life again and continue to work and graze sheep in order to provide for the living requirements of his family.

The suffering of the child Muhammad has doubled now after his left leg has been amputated. Five years ago, his left hand was amputated as a result of a fall accident and because of the delay in his treatment and the attempt to treat him in a primitive way as a result of the family’s inability to treat it at the time, his health condition was seriously deteriorated; consequently, the doctors decided to amputate his left hand. Furthermore, his left leg has been recently amputated as a result of a landmine explosion, and now he has become without a hand or a leg. He is just lying on bed, guarded by his mother’s eyes, praying sometimes and crying on other occasions. She pins her hopes that he will find adequate care and he will be fitted with a prosthesis and rehabilitated to return to life in order to be able - at least - to walk without assistance from anyone.

Mohammed’s mother can’t control her falling tears over the condition of her son while she is with him all the time at the hospital. In light of his deteriorating health condition, she was, as she says, afraid of losing him, as he was between life and death.

This is just another painful human condition, especially in light of the helplessness and poverty of the rural family of Muhammad. The war turned the lives of the population in Yemen into an unbearable psychological and economic hell. There are humanitarian stories of hundreds of women, just like Muhammed’s mother, telling the details of their pain in the same context. They suffer for the sake of their children and are unable to do anything to change this misery created by the war on all health, educational, psychological and economic levels.