Rising again after accident left her paraplegic at age 6

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Rising again after accident left her paraplegic at age 6
Meznah with her physiotherapist

Dubai - An accident 2 years ago left little Meznah paraplegic below the neck

by

Asma Ali Zain

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Published: Sun 7 Jan 2018, 8:02 PM

Last updated: Sun 7 Jan 2018, 10:09 PM

On a hot and humid morning of August 21, 2016, six-year-old Meznah Basaloum was walking across the road with her elder cousin to feed her pet dove at a neighbour's house when suddenly a rashly driven car came out of nowhere and knocked Meznah down.
The driver sped off leaving Meznah for the dead.
"She wasn't breathing when we reached her within minutes," Meznah's mother told Khaleej Times. "We were in a state of panic but since her father knew Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), he performed three breaths on her and we waited until the ambulance came."
The young Emirati was immediately taken to Mafraq Hospital, where doctors said that there was a 90 per cent chance that Meznah would die within the next 24 hours. She had already been without oxygen for almost 15 to 20 minutes.
The impact of the accident was so severe that Meznah suffered a cardiopulmonary arrest, went into a coma and broke her spinal cord in a couple of places. And due to the rash actions of someone, a child's life came to a halt leaving her incapacitated and paraplegic from below the neck, completely bed ridden and dependent on others for life for her simple needs.
"Doctors were unable to perform any surgery due to too much bleeding in her brain and lungs and also fractured hips," said the mother who did not wished to be named.
Meznah was in a coma for four weeks. She started to open her eyes but was not responding. The once chirpy youngster, who along with her twin sister Hassah, used to create havoc at home, had gone very quiet.
After two months Meznah started to communicate by blinking her eyes. "I stayed with Meznah 24-hours a day everyday and spoke with her every day. Slowly Meznah started saying "mama" but without sound. Her other siblings Noora, 3, Hamdan, 2 and Khalifa, 8 months paid regular visits to the hospital to cheer their sister up.
It was after much deliberation that the parents decided to take Meznah to Germany three months after her accident where she received intensive neuro and physio-therapy. She stayed in Germany for 10 months until doctors told the family that there was nothing more they could do as there would be no further change in her condition.
"It was then we decided to bring her back to Abu Dhabi for rehabilitation where she could be surrounded by her family and friends rather than stay in a foreign country," said her mother.
Upon her return on August 12, 2017, Meznah was directly brought to Amana Healthcare where she is still being rehabilitated. "Seeing the severity of her accident and how she has recovered, all I can say that she is a fighter," said Dr Walid Rozik, general pediatrics' specialist at Amana Healthcare, who has been treating Meznah.
"She had a tear in her liver and her C1, C2 and C4 spinal discs that control the nervous system had been broken. Basically she will never be able to regain function of her lower body," added the doctor.
Patricia Smith, a physiotherapist at Amana Healthcare who takes care of Meznah's exercise needs, said: "We want to keep her active so that she can lead an independent and as much an active life as possible. She has no learning difficulties and is as mentally active as any child of her age should be said."
She added: "She has sensation on her body but no movement so we need to keep her moving."
Meznah has recently been assessed for school at Zayed Higher Organisation for Children with Disabilities and has been placed on the waiting list. She already has been to the zoo and parks and is now on her way to leading a near to normal life.
Despite the nature of her injuries and her life beyond, Meznah emits rays of hope as she proves there is no obstacle too big, too difficult in life.
asmaalizain@khaleejtimes.com



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