Chadi Abi Chakra

Chadi was missing... His family looked for him for hours. Hours that seemed an eternity. He always wanted to get his hearing back, did he hear the huge August 4 explosion? And if he did, why didn’t he run back home, as he used to do every time he heard the sound of a bullet?

The handsome 38 year-old young man was still his parents "little child". Ghassan and Hayat had their lives full with his presence, his spirit, his sign language and his love. He was the youngest of the Abi Chakras, and he had a sister and a brother –Nancy and Chafic.

As a baby, Chadi was beautiful, blond-haired, green-eyed, and extremely witty. He could hear his mother and communicate with her. However, at two and a half years, he lost his hearing following an unfortunate accident, when the TV set smashed on the ground of the room he was in, causing an "explosion". After this incident, Chadi became deaf-mute, and underwent two surgeries, but to no avail. He enrolled in different schools for the hard of hearing including IRAP and Al-Kafaat.

Chadi was fun, kind-hearted, dynamic, and very helpful. Even growing up, he had so many friends in and outside Lebanon. He was amiable, and he always communicated with his friends through videos and text. He loved listening to music, he was athletic and hardworking. He helped his mother, and parked cars facing St. Joseph Church.

He dreamed of traveling but never did. He also dreamed of getting his hearing back, as he could only hear 5% of very loud sounds. He needed a cochlear implant, but was extremely expensive, thus, he used external hearing aids.

On the ill-fateful Tuesday, Chadi was home with his family, as his mother recounts. At 6:00 PM his friend Abdo called him to meet up for coffee at his house near Saint George Hospital. Hayat and her granddaughter went to the churchyard to water the plants. She heard the sound of bullets and airplanes. Shortly after, the explosion happened, and debris covered their bodies. Hayat's hand was wounded, and she went to the hospital to stop the bleeding. She kept asking about Chadi. His father tried to comfort her saying he must be stuck somewhere and couldn't leave. That night lasted forever, no one could sleep. Chadi was missing.

24 hours later, the family learned that Chadi was under the ruins of a collapsed building, and that the civil defense is conducting a thorough search mission, clearing every inch of rubble. In complete shock, his father ran to the site hoping his son would come out alive. But Chadi and Abdo were found dead. Issam, Abdo's brother was rescued and made it out alive.

Did Chadi die instantly, or did he try to cry for help and couldn’t make a sound?