A young Gazan with a severe leg injury is being treated in the US, but faces an uncertain future

A young Gazan with a severe leg injury is being treated in the US, but faces an uncertain future

Ahed Bseso lay on the kitchen table in her home in Gaza, watching her uncle amputate her injured right leg. Standing nearby, her mother cried, “Ahed is dead!”

But 18-year-old Bseso is alive, and he survived to tell his story from a hospital in Greenville, South Carolina.

Bseso said on December 19, he went upstairs to his house in Gaza to get a phone signal when an Israeli tank outside opened fire on his building. It destroyed part of the wall of his house, which crushed his leg, along with heavy debris. With his neighborhood under siege and no possibility of medical treatment, his uncle, who had worked as an orthopedic surgeon, used kitchen supplies to amputate his leg below the knee and apply unsterilized gauze.

“For four days, I couldn’t leave the house because the Israelis wouldn’t let me,” he told CNN through a translator, at the Shriners Hospital for Children. “There was no medicine I could take to stop the pain or help me with my condition. So, I just sat in pain for four days.”
A video of his mutilation has gone viral and caught the attention of the Palestinian Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF), a US organization that provides free healthcare to thousands of injured and sick Palestinian children in the Middle East. The organization worked for weeks to get him to the US for medical treatment, according to Tareq Hailat, international pediatric healthcare coordinator at PCRF.

He is one of three Palestinians who received PCRF assistance to come to the US for treatment of leg injuries.

They are not unique: At least 1,000 children in Gaza have had one or both legs amputated, UNICEF reported in December – a number that has since risen.

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