After traveling from around the world to a hospital located in Tripoli, Lebanon, the team started conducting clinical evaluations of 90 prospective patients on January 8, 2017. The vast majority were children who sustained injuries as a direct result of the war, such as bombs or fuel exploding, or as a result of living in makeshift camps because they were displaced by war.
The hospital conditions in Tripoli included shortages of staff and local supplies. Thankfully, the LEAP team was able to bring in basic items such as dressings, equipment, and other materials. Dr. Ali Juma’s home hospital in Liverpool also donated supplies.
Over 1 million Syrians (mostly women and children) displaced to Lebanon are living anywhere they can find shelter—often in factories or other abandoned buildings unsuitable for living—as there are no state-provided, official camps for refugees. Their troubles and tragedies do not end when they leave Syria.
The problem is so big that it can be overwhelming, but the team was able to come together as a cohesive unit, provide the best possible care, and make a positive difference for as many lives as possible.
“The helpless look of an injured child tells a thousand sad stories of the plight of those affected as a direct and indirect result of this treacherous war,” said Dr. Juma upon his return to England. “It was difficult not to let some emotions escape…we all tried to keep smiling to make the children feel comfortable.”
OUR TEAM: Plastic Surgeon Dr. Bob Anderson, Plastic Surgeon Dr. Ali Juma, Surgical Resident Dr. Sarah Al-Himdani, Anesthesiologist Dr. Kevin Healy, Surgical Assistant Samantha Jones, and Ryan Snyder Thompson, LEAP’s Director of International Disaster Relief.
LEAP Global Missions has partnered with the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS) to form ISAPS-LEAP Surgical Relief Teams©, a global resource that can quickly deploy highly skilled plastic and reconstructive surgeons to areas hit by natural and/or man-made disasters.