Four years ago in Syria, Akram was born to his parents as the youngest of four boys. He was an outwardly and in terms of his behavior inconspicuous infant. His eldest brother is mentally and physically impaired and dependent on a wheelchair. A few days after Akram and his mother were discharged from the hospital, Akram was getting worse daily and had to be hospitalised again on his 10th day of life. He was diagnosed with meningitis and got the necessary treatment. After Akram was discharged from the hospital, he developed only hesitantly and had epileptic seizures now and then. Five months after his birth he was readmitted to the hospital. An MRI showed a pronounced hydrocephalus (“water head”) and a large cavity filled with fluid in the area of the frontal brain. The cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) could not circulate, causing the pressure in Akram's brain to rise. A tube was inserted into the brain (shunt) through which the cerebrospinal fluid could drain off and the pressure decreased again. After this operation, Akram felt better but his further development was delayed.


Akram in March 2020

When Akram was 3½ years old, his mother was again looking for medical help because Akram continued to have epileptic seizures. The doctor recommended an assessment by a specialist but the family's financial circumstances did not allow that, so ‘we care’ took over the cost. Since Akram did not show an increased intracranial pressure when he was examined by the specialist, the doctor advised to wait but recommended regular medical checks. However, a few months later, in April 2021, the pressure in Akram's brain rose again and the boy needed another operation. An additional tube was put into Akram's brain. The operation was again paid by ‘we care’.

Akram recovered well from this procedure but will probably be – like his eldest brother – mentally and physically restricted throughout his life. In Switzerland, various therapies are available for the needs of a boy like Akram, but in Syria, the possibilities are very limited. For many more years, the country will remain under the suffering of the civil war. Through the economic sanctions of the Americans and the Corona crisis, Akram's family – like 90% of the Syrian population – has to live in poverty.


Akram in July 2021

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