Farah’s life changing surgery

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Farah has returned home to Palestine after six months away from her twin brother.

Six months is a long time for an eight year old to be away from home, especially when you’ve left a twin brother behind.  Farah came to Australia with her mother Inam for surgery to release increasing pressure on her brain, leaving her twin brother and father at home in Palestine.

Farah has Aperts Syndrome, a genetic disorder that causes premature fusion of the skull bones and prevents the skull from growing normally. The syndrome affects the shape of the head and face and fusion of fingers and toes.

When Farah was born her parents noticed her hands and feet were not normal, but hoped it would not be a big problem.  Farah comes from a big family of eight aunts, eight uncles, and many cousins and her parents hadn’t seen this type of problem before.

Farah had some surgery on her hands but surgeons were hesitant to operate on her head.

When she was six years old Farah’s parents were told she needed surgery to prevent the increasing pressure on her brain.  “A doctor said she must have surgery before she was eight years old or the pressure on her brain would drive her crazy,” said Inam.

After appealing for help from doctors and support organisations, Inam’s cousin Mohammed contacted Children First. Inam’s prayers were answered when Professor David David from the Craniofacial Unit at Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Adelaide agreed to help.

When treatment for Farah in Australia was confirmed, Children First case manager Marina Te Maro contacted the Australian Embassy in Tel Aviv for assistance with Farah’s evacuation.  With the support of the Israeli authorities, Consular/Passports Manager David Stark gained permission for Farah and Inam to travel through Israel and leave via Ben Gurion Airport, thereby reducing the time needed to complete requirements for Jordan.

After a short stay at the Miracle sMiles Retreat Farah and Inam travelled to Adelaide for surgery.

Farah returned home in March 2016 and her parents are delighted that she looks better and has been able to go to school.  They thank Children First and the doctors for making their lives better.

They’re also grateful for the wonderful support of Amin Abbas and Nasra Mayassi and the Palestinian communities in Melbourne and Adelaide.



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