Mohamed Dakdouki’s fate led him to battle death for survival, yet, life was not enough for his expectations; August 4, 2020, was a point of no return.
On the afternoon of August 4, Mohamed was working in a warehouse close to the explosion site in the port of Beirut. He stopped to take video footage of the fire when the first explosion happened. He ran to his car, and as soon as he opened the door, a second explosion pushed him further into a corner where he remained on the ground until he was evacuated by sea around 7:00 PM.
Mohamed did not know the extent of his injuries when he arrived at Haroun hospital, and he was only attended to at 12:00 AM when they could reach his family. Later that night, his right leg was amputated, and his right hand sustained serious deformities, and it was rapidly reconstructed.
The next day, he was transferred to St George’s Hospital where he stayed for two months. Mohamed recalls that many NGOs came to visit him at the hospital but they did nothing to support him, and most of them were just fake organizations, however, the Emirates Red Crescent offered him a prosthetic leg and covered his left eye removal and transplant surgeries.
Mohamed also received great support from his village Barja, however, he received no support from the Ministry of Health. He says: “people are drying before they could get a hospital bed, while the ministry asked me to provide invoices that would be reimbursed at a later stage. This never happened, and I was left to face a fate I did not have a choice in.”
About the challenges he faced, Mohamed says: “after the leg amputation and the removal of my left eye, my right hand still required multiple surgeries to remove shards of glass that are still inside. My veins were also damaged, and I can’t open or move my hand; my healthy eye also requires glaucoma surgery, and part of my face is still damaged.”
Mohamed’s pain is chronic, and his fear of tomorrow grows on him every day. His prosthetic needs to be maintained and replaced on a yearly basis, and he is not sure the Emirates Red Crescent will still support him. Treatment fees are too expensive for him to afford.