NCOPI was recently a part of a non-profit initiative to secure medical care for 14 year old Palestinian, Hebatallah Shaheen. Hebatallah is now back in Palestine with her family, and we’re happy to report that she’s doing well with her new prosthetic leg.
Here’s Hebatallah’s story:
Fourteen year old Palestinian, Hebatallah Shaheen, flew from Gaza to Raleigh on September 24th, 2014 to meet the foster family that cared for her as she underwent treatment to obtain the lower-leg prosthesis she needed since birth. Due to a lack of access to quality medical care in Gaza, Shaheen lived all of her fourteen years without walking. She took her first steps in Greensboro, NC, where North Carolina Orthotics and Prosthetics (NCOPI) practitioner William Stauffer worked to fit her with a new leg.
Shaheen’s trip to North Carolina was the result of coordination by the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF), which works to secure free care for Middle Eastern children with severe medical needs. The American non-profit worked on Hebatallah’s behalf to organize travel, lodging, and needed medical equipment and care while in the United States. NCOPI, agreed to provide fabrication and fitting services and used donated prosthetic components from prominent equipment manufactures, Freedom Innovations and Ossur.
Shaheen lived with an Arabic-speaking family in Greenville while in the U.S. She said she was most excited to run and ride a bicycle when she returned to her family in Gaza. “We are honored to be a part of this transition in Hebatallah’s life,” says NCOPI’s Stauffer. “She’s a bright young lady with a bright future, and we’re looking forward to seeing her through this process. It never gets old helping someone walk for the first time.”