Gaza, Alray - The 4-year-old Mohammed al-Farrah from Khan Younis in the Gaza Strip knew only nothing that he should end up amputated for his service as a guinea pig in one of Israel’s largest medical facilities: Tal Hashumair Hospital!
Mohammed’s father, Ashraf al-Farrah, recounted his son’s story to Alray.
The primary cause of Mohammed’s disease lies in anal infections arising from a sticky substance secreted by his large bowel, an illness that Dr. Abdel Khaliq Harb, Mohammad’s attendant at European Hospital in Khan Younis couldn’t recognize. Therefore, in February 2010, the baby was transferred into Tal Hashumair Hospital, renowned for its reputable medical service inside and outside of (Israel).
It was to the father’s surprise that Israeli media reported, a few days before Mohammed’s return to Gaza, that the toddling Mohammed was abandoned by his parents.
Ashraf told Alray “his wife, Heba al-Farrah, attended him for six months in the Israeli hospital from the beginning, before Hamouda al-Farrah (Heba’s father), who worked in (Israel) for a good time and can manage a longer stay there, insisted would do the duty to Mohammed in place of his mother, a caretaker of three others.
Mohammed’s condition wasn’t as puzzling for Palestinian doctors as for Israelis, who according to Ashraf “raced to diagnose his disease and break a success,”
“They took blood samples from all of my family members to laboratories abroad. Moreover, Heba and me were told to have a new baby in order to take a sample from his umbilical cord. One attempt else, they said Mohammed needs a marrow bone transplant,”
“Meanwhile, Mohammed was hardly enduring diarrhea that caused him ulcers, aperture and clots between thighs. After one and half a year, finding a matching donor was in vain, and so was the Israeli doctors’ journey into disease.”
Ashraf denied the Israeli claim of a genetic disorder, saying there is no record in the family history of such, adding “we could have stopped childbearing if any of our three children, beside Mohammed, carry a genetic disease,”
Yet the mystery seems minuscule in the eyes of the Israeli doctors of the ‘giant’ hospital! In June 2012, plus the clinical drug trials that Mohammed underwent, the doctors prescribed an injectable chemotherapeutic drug from Germany, whose success rate of treatment reportedly didn’t exceed 20%, as Hamouda, from the hospital, told Ashraf in a phone call.
“I, in response, refused that my son’s body be used more to no avail,” he said.
“At the Israeli staff’s peril and without my notice, Mohammed, 2, was dosed with the first injection of the said drug; his condition improved a little bit; however, that didn’t level up to my assurance and I ordered him back home,”
“Then owing to a nurse’s fatal medical error, Mohammed’s status started to severely worsen; dose of the same drug but prescribed for a four-year-old, poisoned his blood causing him a 16-day-long coma at the intensive care unit (ICU)”
“His body turned black and his skin peeled off. They tried to give him a counter dose to revive his heart, but the blood reached only the joints, while the lower extremities lacked in blood supply which resulted in their cell death.”
“The Israeli doctors stood idly viewing such implications with the lower extremities going gangrenous; then we were caught between a rock and a hard place: either that Mohammed undergoes amputation -which was unfortunately concluded- or dies from gangrene.” He heart-achingly followed.
“The problem is with the Israeli hospital’s pride which can’t be derailed,” Mohammed’s father argued.
“The hospital did its best to wash its hands of Mohammed’s case after being physically disabled, through screening the nurse so that it escapes legal prosecution and thus keeping its face,” he holds. “That Even an attempt by a volunteer lawyer to investigate Mohammed’s nurse attendant who improperly treated the toddler was foiled.”
He added that “the lawyer succeeded only in winning the case being a ‘humanitarian’”; he made the hospital to fundraise under Mohammed’s name to cover his highly expensive post-surgical care, before leaving to Gaza upon three colorless years in Israel.
Nonetheless, the hospital singled Mohammed out for media agencies highlighting him as a parentless product of the Israeli care service, an abandoned, so to speak.
More interestingly, Mohammed might have grown a masterpiece of Israel’s humanity pride, eroding day after day thanks to its funneling humanity towards Palestinians. Ashraf revealed to Alray that “Israelis offered to adopt my son a week ago,” but he dismissively wondered “would the Israelis be more caring than his family?!”
Now suffering in Gaza, Mohammed is not only paying the price for the medial error which denied him from enjoying his childhood, but also for the source of his pain, pertaining to his abdomen. In the Israeli hospital, he underwent resection of his large bowel and colostomy that requires removable bags –nonexistent in Gaza- to eliminate stool regularly.
As the Israeli hospital is not legally liable for any compensation for the child’s plight, his family is now hardly providing for his special needs like colostomy bags.
Ashraf called, through Alray, on benefactors to cover the financial huge costs of his son’s treatment outside the Gaza Strip, as neither government institutions nor NGOs in Gaza can.
“I appeal to the concerned legal authorities to help me sue Tal Hashomir Hospital for ill-treating my son, who once will grow and claim his right from me!”