JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- This summer we've been following the story of a young girl from Afghanistan staying with a local family through the Solace for Children program. She traveled halfway around the world to get her arm fixed and now she has received her wish.
Feroza arrived in Jacksonville six weeks ago with 15 other children from Afghanistan. They all needed medical attention, but she had some of the most serious medical needs. She burned her arm as a toddler on a hot stove.
"Her arm is webbed and her fingers are meshed together," said Julie Howard, her host mom.
Early one morning recently, Feroza and her host family arrived at Wolfson Children's Hospital for surgery. She seemed a little nervous at first and not exactly sure what was about to happen to her, but she was brave and excited. "She knows this is what she came to America to do. I think she's glad to get it started," said Howard.
As long as Feroza can remember, she's never been able to use her right arm. Plastic Surgeon Dr. Dean Glassman volunteered to do the work. He says she'll wake up with a cast on her arm and she'll be uncomfortable for a while, but he is confident it will be a success. "From what I can tell from my physical exam, it should be a good result."
He's ready to begin the surgery, which will take nearly 7 hours. "Okay, we'll get her back there and get going."
It's been a long journey for Feroza and as she's wheeled back into surgery she knows her life will be forever changed, not just by this surgery but by all the people who helped make this happen for her.
"It's going to be a difficult couple of weeks, but in the end it will be a blessing to have this done," said Howard.
It will take weeks for Feroza to recover from surgery and she will need more. The other Afghan children with whom she came to Jacksonville are leaving Wednesday, but she will stay longer until she fully recovers.
First Coast News