Yousef Azzem, three years old, a child born to a family living in Sabastia village near Nablus, West Bank.
Yousef’s mother Futoun was pregnant with a triplet, two girls and a boy. At the time, she was finishing her B.A degree. Futoun had many difficulties during her pregnancy such as high blood pressure and extreme fatigue.
On her early 8th month of pregnancy she had to undergo a caesarian surgery to deliver the babies after facing a lot of complications.
At the beginning, all the babies seemed healthy and the mother took them back home, both the girls were nurturing and growing well, yet Yousef had troubles feeding or communicating with his surroundings.
Futoun thought it’s only a regular problem since it was her first pregnancy and had no experience in upbringing children.
As the time passed the girls started crawling and using sounds to express their feelings, while Yousef did not react with any person and was always silent and kept looking up.
Futoun started to worry, and expressed her concerns to her husband who at first refused to believe that Yousef is facing any problems, yet Futoun insisted to pay a visit to a doctor in her village.
The doctor at the village after the diagnosis brought up the shocking news, telling the mother that the child will never walk or talk or even communicate with his surroundings, and advised her to take him home with no treatment to offer.
The news was too hurtful to accept and the father couldn’t handle it, while Futoun insisted to find a treatment to Yousef, moving from one doctor to the other. After visiting more than 20 doctors, who gave her no real hope for any development or treatment for Yousef’s case, Futoun finally heard about Farah Clinic that works in partnership with Princess Basma Centre (PBC). Futoun reached the clinic and scheduled a meeting with Dr. Waddah Malhees, the Medical Director at the PBC, who and together with the multi-disciplinary team visits on a regular basis the partner clinics and diagnose many cases.
Yousef was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, and Dr. Waddah referred him to PBC. Yousef had lots of impairments and difficulties such as sensory problems, poor head and trunk control, poor sitting balance, and he wasn’t able to use any social signs or facial expressions.
Finally at the age of one and a half, Yousef was admitted at the PBC, and immediately received a comprehensive rehabilitation program that consisted of Physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy.
Futoun said: “I felt at home at PBC, the therapists answered all my questions without any delays, giving me the right tools to deal with Yousef”.
After the fifth admission, Yousef has shown a lot of improvement in auditory perception, visual and tactile. Yousef can now walk indoors using the walkers with a very good control and balance. He also can express himself by smiling and using all kinds of facial expressions.
Ms. Lucy Ghraybe, one of the physiotherapists at the Centre said: “when Yousef was admitted to the Centre, he was afraid of therapists and physicians due to the many visits to clinics before. It took time to gain his trust with team work of the therapists, Yousef started to open to his surroundings, and started to show good progress”.
Yousef is now 3 years old. He will continue to receive therapies at the Centre in order to achieve a level of independence and improvement in his quality of life.