A Palestinian boy born with a debilitating birth defect had his first appointment Monday in Chicago in advance of a surgery that hopes to improve his opportunities in life and end the teasing and taunting from his peers back home.
Qossay Suleiman, 13, was born with a clubfoot condition that an orthopedic surgeon at Shriners Hospitals for Children in Chicago says he can correct.
"All we need to do is lengthen some of the tendons and then maybe transfer one of the muscles and tendons from one side of the foot to the other," explained Dr. Peter Smith.
Suleiman's father is a taxi driver in the West Bank, and with eight other children cannot afford the surgery that's expected to cost tens of thousands of dollars. Donations from local businesses, families and the Palestinian Children's Relief Fund will pay for everything.
The teen will need to wear a cast after the surgery, and the healing will take time, but experts said Suleiman should ultimately be able to take part in everything other kids can do.
"He's thankful and waiting to get back to walking," one of the boy's sponsors said Monday, translating Suleiman's Arabic.
Additionally, he hopes to be able to return to school. He'd dropped out because of the teasing from other kids.