Hana relies on the free in-kind supplies at the charitable clinic, and it is vital to her survival.
Imagine waking up in the morning to find your limbs tied down tightly to the bed with heavy chains. This is how 51-year-old rheumatoid arthritis patient Hana Abu-Mahdiyeh feels every morning.
“The most difficult part of my day is getting out of bed, and that takes a couple of hours,” explains Hana. “Once I am out, I do certain exercises to loosen up my joints and muscles. Once I am on the move, it gradually gets easier.”
The charitable clinic in the heart of Hebron that Hana regularly visits for routine check-ups has recently received a generous medical supply donation that will ease some of her daily suffering. The International Health Partners (IHP) donation delivered by Anera contains two-compression bandage kits for the foot and ankle, which Hana, among many other patients, has found to be quite helpful.
The most difficult part of my day is getting out of bed, and that takes a couple of hours.
After performing a general check-up on her, Dr. Wael Al-Rajabi told Hana about the newly donated bandages and carefully wrapped one around her foot and ankle. He explained that two layers provide a soft, yet firm support.
“Hana had an operation around three years ago to repair a joint deformity in her left foot caused by her illness,” said Dr. Rajabi. He explained that deformity and the formation of nodules are natural effects of the progression of the illness, which cannot be permanently repaired. Hana still suffers from great pain in that same foot, which she treats with medication and the regular use of bandages.
Relying on the Kindess of Others to Survive
Rheumatoid arthritis has accompanied Hana through every second of her life since she was only 17 years old. She used to be quite active and very much into knitting, which, for some years, was her sole source of income.
“I used to be quite skilled at knitting,” she reminisced. “But after my illness, my role was restricted to supervising other women at a small clothing factory in Hebron. Soon enough though, I could no longer remain in my job, or any other job.”
Eight years ago, Hana lost her husband. She currently relies on charity to get by. She and her sister live with her brother and his family. Unfortunately, rheumatoid arthritis is not her only adversity—she also suffers from diabetes, asthma and high blood pressure. Hana relies on the free in-kind supplies at the charitable clinic, and it is vital to her survival. Like most of the residents Hebron’s Old City, she has only a few places to turn to for treatment, free of charge.
“The medical donations coming in through Anera make up a huge part of our supply, and they all go to impoverished people who cannot afford them otherwise,” Dr Rajabi stated. “For people like Hana, this place is an anchor, and your donations, no matter how big or small, keep us afloat.”