On the Mend
May 15, 2014
This Christian physician received surgery last month in Damascus to remove a tumor from inside one of his ears. A Syrian ministry that receives assistance from Christian Aid Mission helped pay for some of his medical expenses.
A Syrian doctor who underwent emergency ear surgery two weeks ago is back at home and hopes to return to his medical practice this week.
Christian Aid Mission helped provide the funds for Dr. Samir*, a general practitioner and a friend of the ministry, to have a procedure called a modified radical mastoidectomy to clean out a rapidly advancing infection in his left ear.
Surgeons removed a tumor from inside the middle ear cavity. Though larger than anticipated, praise God the growth was benign, based on biopsy results.
Dr. Samir has a history of ear infections. The most recent flare-up quickly progressed since available antibiotics were having little effect. If left untreated, the infection could have spread to his inner ear and brain.
“I feel a great debt to God and I feel that I became closer to Him through this experience,” Dr. Samir said. “The excellent results of the operation are God’s answer to your continued prayers for me. My sincere thanks and appreciation to everyone who had a part in making this surgery possible.”
An indigenous ministry assisted by Christian Aid responded to Dr. Samir’s request for financial help and covered the bulk of the costs for the $8,500 ear surgery. Originally the procedure was scheduled to take place in Jordan, but the danger of traveling necessitated having the surgery in Damascus. He returned to his home May 8.
Dr. Samir said the operation successfully removed the tumor and infection, but it did not address the 90 percent hearing loss in that ear. Typically in these cases, a follow-up surgery is performed six months later to place an implant in the middle ear. Such a procedure would restore an estimated 50 to 70 percent of Dr. Samir’s hearing ability.
That operation is expected to cost around $6,500.
The dedicated doctor plans to go back to work in the next day or so. He knows his services are greatly needed, as most physicians have fled Syria and medical assistance of any kind is in short supply.
When he is not seeing patients, Dr. Samir helps his father minister to Syrian families who have been displaced by the civil war. Christian Aid has supported their work by providing funds for food packages and other emergency relief.
Offering medical services in a war-torn country may be challenging, but Dr. Samir says he cannot imagine doing anything else. He adds that nothing can “take the place of the happiness” he feels providing quality care in Christ’s Name.
“Thank you with all of my heart for standing with me. May the Lord bless you all,” he said.