A six-year-old Iraqi girl is recovering from surgery in Maine hospital. We first introduced Noora Abdulhameed six weeks ago when she arrived in Portland, Maine. A group called "No More Victims" arranged for Noora to come for free medical care.
Noora was shot two years ago during the war and suffered serious head injuries. Friday, doctors began their work to help her recover.
Six year old Noora is used to doctors...she's been to many over the past two years in Iraq--as she recovered from a gunshot wound to the head. Surgeons there did all they could...but Noora is still missing part of her skull. Doctors at Maine medical center in Portland agreed to help.
This was part of a routine check-up--to make sure She was ready for surgery. While she's here for medical care....Noora's time in Maine has also been filled with Summer fun.
Susi Eggenberger--Noora's host family "the community has gotten involved and people are doing play dates with her, people are taking her on adventures...she's been to peak's island and the beach."
Susi Eggenberger helped raise the money to bring Noora and her father to Maine....she has documented their time here. There was a trip to The circus with cotton candy....a quiet walk along the waterfront with her dad....and a moment of joy when they connected with Noora's family And siblings in Iraq.
This happy, curious girl has given many people in Maine a chance to see both the terrible impact of war...and the ability to heal.
Susi: "It's been a wonderful experience. we feel blessed to have her in our lives and Afeef in our lives too as well."
Noora's father is very grateful to be here....and as he walked the hospital hallway waiting for his daughter to come out of her first major surgery today--he was nervous, but hopeful.
Afeef Abdulameed-- "In Iraq there was no hope, but here I have more hope for Noora that she is in good hands and will get the best of treatment...makes me happy today."
"In this first surgery...doctors put a balloon under Noora's scalp....over the next few weeks that balloon will be expanded with saline to help Noora grow new skin...skin that will help cover up the prosthetic skull that Noora will get during her next surgery"
That surgery will likely happen in the next eight weeks... Then there will be several months of recovery---a little more time to hunt for crabs.... and chase seagulls at the beach... before heading home to Iraq.