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Medically Fragile Child Receives Care through World Relief

“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

Mathew 19:14

Farah, four, was born in Türkiye with Epidermolysis Bullosa. This rare condition is characterized by fragile skin that blisters and itches. Her hands and feet are webbed closed as her skin melts and molds.

When she was four months old, the young girl was having difficulties eating. In order to administer food and medicine, the doctors opened up her stomach. Four years later, the hole continues to be used to provide medicine to her.

Farah’s mother takes care of her at home by bandaging her wounds and applying creams to her sores. She injects medicine through the hole in her stomach. Treatments are daily.

As Jamal (Farah’s father) picks her up, he coos and smiles. In response, the girl reaches for him. She is small for her age and looks much younger. Jamal says that Farah can move normally but goes slower than her siblings. When traveling, Farah must be carried so that she doesn’t hurt herself.

Before she was born, the family fled Syria as refugees. After years of waiting in Türkiye, they were finally approved to be resettled in Spokane.

The Resettlement team at World Relief quickly noted that Farah needed extensive medical treatment and referred the family to Intensive Case Management.

The Intensive Case Management team works with refugees who need additional assistance beyond the 90-day resettlement contract. This may include, but is not limited to, health conditions that require extra care and attention.

Deeba, the family’s case manager, had never seen anything like Farah’s condition. Having her own children, her heart went out to both Farah and her mom.

“It was really hard when I saw the mom,” she said. “It’s hard for a mom.”

Navigating the American healthcare system would be difficult, but Jamal didn’t mind. He prioritized his daughter’s health. “We hope that our trouble will get her treatment.”

Starting out, Deeba scheduled a doctor’s appointment with a medical clinic. When the doctors saw the intensity of the situation, they told Deeba that they didn’t know how to help the child. Instead, they recommended that the family go to the Seattle Children’s Hospital.

Determined to get the family to Seattle for a medical appointment, Deeba collaborated with Robby, the Initial Healthcare Coordinator.

“He sent me all the good resources, especially from SMS. He told me to contact them.”

Special Mobility Services (SMS) is a nonprofit that works to provide mobility to those with special transportation needs. The organization took charge and arranged the hotel, transportation and appointment within two weeks.

After meeting with the doctors in Seattle, the family knew that they needed to relocate in order to provide the necessary care for their daughter.

Jamal insisted that nothing mattered except getting the care his daughter needed. “Our number one priority is to treat Farah. If that’s in Seattle, then that’s where we go.”

Andrea, the Director of Intensive Case Management, arranged for a case transfer between the offices in Seattle and Spokane. A new case manager would be there to welcome the family with housing and furniture upon arrival.

Deeba was pleased to have the help. “They have everything ready for her over there.”

All that was left to do was to transport the family west. Deeba and her husband prepared to split the family between two cars. They crammed luggage between the passengers and into the trunk. There was nothing left to do but make the four-hour trip.

Jamal expressed his gratitude for Deeba and the team at World Relief. Although the family had to travel to Seattle, they have been connected with resources that enable them to care for Farah.

“They did a great job,” said Jamal. “They did the most things they can do.”

With the family safe in Seattle, Deeba is relieved. “She will get a good treatment over there. The doctor knows what to do with her. They might have a few plans for her treatment.”

Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?

Luke 15:4

In the Parable of the Lost Sheep, Jesus tells a story of a shepherd who goes to great lengths to save a single lost sheep. To the world, it seems irrational to risk everything for a single sheep. For a parent, it means everything. To God our Father…it is everything.

That is why the shepherd invited his neighbors to celebrate the finding of the lost sheep. It mattered to him and thus it mattered to his community.

We are thankful for the network of neighbors that walked alongside this family. World Relief staff, doctors, volunteers and medical services were all needed to get one girl the care she needed.

Please continue to pray for Farah’s healing. May her family find peace as they settle into Seattle.

Consider joining our network of neighbors by volunteering or donating today.

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