Young Iraqi Girl Receives Prosthetic Legs
May 12, 2008
BAGHDAD (Army News Service, May 12, 2008) - A 12-year-old Iraqi girl received two new prosthetic legs May 9, as part of an Iraqi Ministry of Defence program at the MOD Prosthetics Clinic located in the International Zone.
Shiad Abas Aziz from Baquba Province, along with her mother Wahida Jabar Mohamed, traveled to the IZ with U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Luis Falcon, a squad leader with 1-38 Infantry, to get fitted to her new prosthetics.
About six months ago, Shiad was walking home from school with her brother Ali, when an improvised explosive device detonated and severely injured both of them. Ali perished as a result of his injuries from the blast, but Shiad survived.
About a month after the attack, U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Luis Falcon stumbled upon Shiad while doing a dismounted patrol in her neighborhood. Falcon immediately established a bond with Shiad and continued to visit her daily, bringing her toys and food for her family.
When Falcon asked what she wanted him to bring her she replied "all I want is legs to walk to school."
From that moment on Falcon did everything in his power to find a way to get her new legs. He stumbled upon the MOD prosthetics clinic and set up the visit to the clinic.
During the visit to the clinic Shiad was first measured for a mold and following hours of strenuous labor by the Iraqi Army officers who work in the clinic, they were finally ready to be fitted.
Fitted with two new shoes, Shiad took her first steps toward walking on her own. Assisted by Iraqi Army Capt. Osama, prosthetics technician, and Falcon she carefully made her way down a set of parallel bars one step at a time.
Shiad has many more appointments with the physical therapist to properly use her new legs, but she is well on her way to being able to walk by herself to school again.