The donation of high quality medical supplies allows Najah to leave the house
Najah’s medical journey began 10 years ago, when she started feeling stomach discomfort.
“Every time I ate, I felt a stomach ache and needed to use the bathroom. I had blood in my stool. I saw a number of doctors — all of them diagnosed inflammation and prescribed medications. None of it worked,” she says.
Finally, Najah met a doctor who told her that she needed an endoscopy and referred her to the Patient's Friends Hospital. At the hospital, doctors took a biopsy and diagnosed her with colon cancer. She underwent surgery and chemotherapy, and even had to travel to Egypt to undergo radiation. The procedures saved her life and she is now cancer free.
However, she awoke from her surgery to a new reality: she must rely on an external prosthetic pouch to pass bodily waste.
At first, Najah used ostomy bags from a local clinic in Gaza. However, she found them itchy and uncomfortable.
Since the surgery, she says, “Whenever I want to go out, I constantly second guess it. I never eat or drink anything [when I’m out]. When I go to a wedding party, I sit in the back so nobody can notice or smell me.”
“Whenever I want to go out, I constantly second guess it."
Current medical science may not be able to entirely transform this heartbreaking reality for patients like Najah, but everyone should at least have access to the best equipment commonly available.
Fortunately, Najah happened to meet someone from the Ostomy Friends Association in Gaza. The health center has been able to provide Najah with a supply of high quality ostomy bags, thanks to a recent distribution from Anera.
The medical supplies were made available through a medical aid donation from the Friends of Ostomates Worldwide-USA. Medical donations like this help ensure more patients in vulnerable communities have access to the kind of quality, dignified healthcare that everyone is entitled to.
Little Omar Endures Despite Medical Complications
Like Najah, Omar is one of the many patients in Gaza whose lives are already impacted by the medical donation from Friends of Ostomates Worldwide-USA.
Omar stopped breastfeeding the day after he was born. Despite his mother’s every effort to coax him to eat, he refused food.
His parents took him to the hospital, where doctors identified an intestinal obstruction. Young Omar underwent surgery at Shifa Hospital.
Ever since, he has been going in for periodic follow ups. Unfortunately, further medical complications with the development of his digestive system emerged.
Omar’s physicians realized he would need another operation. His family wanted to get the procedure done abroad by specialists but were prevented from doing so by the ongoing blockade and closures imposed on Gaza.
So he underwent the four-and-a-half-hour surgery in Gaza. Sadly, it was unsuccessful.
Now one-and-a-half years old, little Omar must use a colostomy bag until his health improves. It's an unpleasant situation, especially for one so young. But life would be far more difficult without such an essential supply. “It’s horrifying to think of the idea of not having them available,” his father says.