Iraqi girl takes first steps on new legs

The 9-year-old Iraqi girl who lost her legs in an airstrike walked on two prosthetic legs at Shriners Hospital for Children in Greenville for the first time today.

"She was like, ‘Look, I got my second leg. I’m walking,’ " said interpreter Ghada Saif. "She was really excited."

"It was one of those moments like when your baby takes her first steps," said Selena Frank. "You can tell she’s wanting to get moving."

Frank is a member of the Upstate Coalition of Compassion, a group of local residents who brought Salee Allawe to Greenville along with No More Victims, a national organization that links the children with care in the United States.

Salee lost her legs Nov. 7 in a blast that killed her older brother, according to the groups. Shriners is providing her care.

At the hospital, Salee stood up and told the physical therapist not to help her before taking a few steps. "She said, ‘I can do it myself,’ " Saif said. "She’s just a brave girl."

Salee walked along the parallel bars and tried to balance without holding on, Frank said.

"The physical therapist said she did an excellent job," she said. "But she’s been breezing through everything."

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