UNRWA and Taawon in Lebanon Cooperate to Restore Hope in Life for Five Palestine Refugee Patients

13 November 2017
Mona cradles her young son following successful surgery for repeated epileptic episodes. 2017 Photo courtesy of Taawon

“I want to be healthy to stand by my children and watch them grow up! I underwent surgery to reduce the epileptic seizures I suffer from and help me stand by my family, especially as my younger son is only 2 years old,” said Mona (36), holding her son following the implant of a device that prevents recurrent epileptic seizures at the cost of US$ 20,000. Sisters Nourhane (8) and Malak (5), pictured below, share very strong ties as both have also suffered from epilepsy from an early age.  Experiencing more than one seizure a day, this medical condition has had a significant impact on both their lives. Like Mona, the sisters both underwent expensive implant surgeries of devices that prevent recurrent epileptic seizures at a total cost of US$ 43,000, easing their suffering and bringing back smiles of hope to their young lives.

Nourhane and Malak enjoy drawing pictures together following successful surgery to prevent recurrent epileptic seizures. Photo courtesy of Taawon
Nourhane and Malak enjoy drawing pictures together following successful surgery to prevent recurrent epileptic seizures. Photo courtesy of Taawon

Mona and the sisters Nourhane and Malak are three of five Palestine refugees in Lebanon whose medical expenses were covered, thanks to an appeal launched jointly by UNRWA and Taawon during Ramadan in Lebanon to help with medical costs for patients whose specialized treatment would be partially covered under the Agency’s normal health-care coverage.

Little Mahmoud was another beneficiary of this Ramadan appeal. Thanks to the donations, Mahmoud had cochlear implant surgery at the cost of US$ 24,000. Today, he can listen to the rhythm and clamor of life like other children his age and next month, for the first time ever, he will be able to hear people wishing him a happy birthday when he turns four.

14-year-old Hanane stopped attending school and was threatened with total paralysis due to a severe spinal scoliosis.  After undergoing critical surgery to her spine at a cost of US$ 31,000, today Hanane can once again resume her studies. “My daughter was brought back to life,” says Hanane’s mother. “She spent more than six hours under surgery, and now she is walking again! I can’t describe my joy. I can’t thank enough those who helped my daughter lead a normal life again.”

Many complex and high-cost medical conditions of Palestine refugees in Lebanon, such as those highlighted through the Ramadan Appeal, are partially covered by UNRWA under the Agency’s regular and Medical Hardship Fund programmes. Thanks to the contributions raised under this campaign, the financial gap was bridged and the full costs of the five interventions were secured.

In addition to donations by individual donors and UNRWA, staff who responded generously to the 2017 Ramadan Appeal in Lebanon, these life-altering surgeries were made possible thanks to Taawon. Taawon generously joined and coordinated the fundraising campaign to which the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund, the Health Care Society, the Kuwaiti Red Crescent Society, the Qatari Red Crescent Society, the Zakat Fund and the Palestine Liberation Organization offered substantial contributions. 

UNRWA launched the #DignityIsPriceless campaign in Gaza on 22 January 2018. © 2018 UNRWA Photo Rushdi Al Saraj
Join the #DignityIsPriceless campaign to stand up #ForPalestineRefugees