It’s all terrible, humanitarian-wise in Syria, isn’t it? Except that there are still some amazing doctors, Syrian and not-Syrian, who keep on helping in the most difficult of situations. Even while they are actively being targeted.
This week in BMA News Review, a double-page spread on Dr David Nott, included this:
“One patient who sticks in [Dr Nott’s] mind is a three-year boy whose foot had been badly damaged by a bomb. There were no blood vessels supplying his lower leg and foot. The doctors took the tiny long saphenous vein from the other leg and did a bypass, followed by a cross-leg flap to cover the graft … a WhatsApp picture of [the boy] about three or four months later [showed] a great result. Now I understand he’s playing some football”
Dr Nott said: “We weren’t going to get beaten by the people who were trying to [harm] this little boy. Our only way of fighting it all was to try and help him.”
Sadly, there are many more bad news than good news stories coming out of Syria, and about the Syrian refugees.
Dr Nott has written of how he has “witnessed what I thought was the worst of humanity … I can honestly say that I thought I had seen it all… but Syria is different.” Initially he witnessed horrific injuries to innocent civilians from sniper fire, with victims including children and adults – some were, purposefully, pregnant women. In 2014, he saw the results of barrel bomb attacks, the majority of patients he saw were children: “They had the most horrific injuries – whole parts of their bodies were torn off by thousands of pieces of red-hot shrapnel.”
Now though: “Hospitals are being destroyed, medical teams are being targeted and medicines are running low. The supply chain is being hit and ultimately drugs and dressing are in short supply. I’m worried that soon the supply of these essential items will completely dry up.”
The planned ceasefire is not universal, even if it ever actually starts.
To supporting hospitals in Syria, providing much needed drugs, medicines, dressings and equipment please consider donating to Syria Relief
Or to the David Nott Medical Fund for Syria
If you think you can watch the aftermath of barrel bomb attacks, you can watch a film about Dr Notts work in Syria: ‘A&E In The War Zone’. This is on 4OD. Due to the graphic nature of this documentary, viewer discretion is STRONGLY advised.