Mohamed Al-Berjawi was born in Noueiri area in Beirut on June 11, 1985, to a family of three children. Mohamed’s life was not easy; in his childhood, he suffered from torn feet tendons, along with heart problems. He enrolled in school hoping he would be able to complete his education, but his health condition imposed otherwise. He dropped out of school in grade 3 and continued to be homeschooled by his mother and siblings.
In 2017, Mohamed started responding to physical therapy and he was able to stand on his feet with the support of crutches. His treatment was not invasive, and he was only prescribed vitamins instead of antibiotics, taking into consideration his heart condition, and avoiding potential tachycardia.
Mohamed was fond of technology and a passionate football fan; he was a fan of Real Madrid Football Club, which he followed on social media, and interacted with players and fans from around the world.
When the government imposed a Covid-19 lockdown Mohamed stayed home and avoided contact with the outside world to protect himself as per the Ministry of Health guidelines and the recommendations of his doctor, up until the tragedy of August 4, 2020, which changed everything.
It was a normal day for the Berjawi family; when the first explosion happened everyone thought an earthquake hit Beirut, as everything was trembling under their feet. A few moments later they started screaming that a war had started… Mohamed tried to reach his crutch with the help of his brother when the second explosion was heard. A cabinet collapsed on his back causing him a spinal dislocation, adding to his already existing conditions.
Mohamed is literally a prisoner in his house today, he doesn’t go out at all because of his injury; he can’t move or sit for long periods of time. He only walks three or four times a day, within the walls of his house, while he wears an assistive device to straighten his back.
And despite NGOs and government institutions promising him a wheelchair specific to his case, he still didn’t receive any financial or in-kind support from anyone.
His mother says: “doctors’ visits have become a burden for all Lebanese, how do you think it is for Mohamed who suffers from a complex medical condition? We can no longer afford the vitamins he needs on a daily basis, especially after the government lifted subsidies on medications.
Mohamed’s treatment is on and off for the last two years; his family wishes the Ministry of Health would take his condition into account and provide him with the needed treatment so he can depend on himself in his day-to-day tasks.
Mohamed dreams of a three-wheel wheelchair he can use to leave the house and see the outside world because he was confined to his house for most of his life.