Maya is one of those strong characters that are always up to the challenge, constantly trying to find solutions and ways through life’s obstacles. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have been able to withstand hours of pain and bleeding alone before anyone could come to her rescue.
Despite the severe injury to her right hand as a result of the horrible massacre on August 4, 2020, Maya is still a bundle of joy and hope, lifting her spirits and those of people around her. She believes that the past is long gone, and it is time to think about the future.
Maya spent over 30 years working as a nutritionist at Saint George University Hospital in Beirut before she opened her own clinic.
On that sunny August day, Maya was home in Achrafieh facing the port of Beirut, and she saw a pinkish smoke coming out of the port’s warehouses, accompanied by the sound of fireworks. She first thought it was some kind of celebration, and she took her phone and went outside to take some pictures. A few moments later, an earthquake-like explosion rocked the city and she was pushed inside, fell to the ground, and a heavy table fell over her right arm in her house’s living room. She immediately thought the port was under Israeli attack, and that the Israeli aircraft spotted her taking photos and targeted her. She couldn’t think of any other explanation during those very hard moments she spent trying to figure out what had happened to her elderly mom and the Ethiopian helper who lived with her. When she made sure they were both safe and sound, she called her nephew for help, and she sent her helper to ask their neighbors for help, alas, they needed help themselves as many of their family members were injured.
Three hours later, Maya was still on the ground, injured and bleeding from her right shoulder. As she waited for her nephew, a paramedic arrived, bandaged her arm, and helped her up before attending to other injured in the building. Struggling with pain, she patiently waited for her nephew to arrive amidst the chaotic scene of the explosion’s aftermath. Maya first went to Abou Jaoude Hospital, but they apologized for not being able to admit her due to the large number of injured people who had already arrived at the Emergency Room. She was then advised to go to Notre Dame Des Secours University Hospital in Jbeil where she stayed for the night to undergo tests and X-Rays, after which the doctors decided to perform surgery on her injured shoulder. However, Maya called her personal doctor seeking his opinion, and he informed her he had no contract with the hospital she was at, and thus, she decided to have the surgery at a different hospital as she trusts the skills of her doctor.
After several days at home, the pain became unbearable and Maya was admitted at Bellevue Medical Center and underwent a complex surgery on her right shoulder. The results showed that the damage to her bone would prevent her shoulder from returning to its pre-explosion state, and she would have permanent movement difficulties.
Despite the hardships she has been through, Maya remained strong and did not lose faith in the future. She hopes that justice will prevail one day, and she is optimistic it will happen soon.