Eight-year-old Merhan Shorab arrived in Chicago from her home city of Rafah in Gaza taking each step with pain and difficulty, but will return home walking ably — and smiling widely.
Merhan, along with three other children, came to the U.S. in late November to receive badly-needed surgeries, according to the Palestine Children's Relief Fund.
Tuesday's roughly two-hour surgery will correct the congenital hip condition Merhan was born with, reports WGN. With one leg longer than the other, the young girl is unable to walk for long without considerable pain.
The PCRF, which describes itself as "a non-political, non-profit organization dedicated to fighting the medical and humanitarian crisis facing children in the middle east," is funding the young girl's orthopedic surgery at the Shriners Hospital For Children in Chicago. The procedure she requires is not offered in the Gaza region, where she and her family live in a refugee camp.
Following Merhan's surgery, Sarah Alreyyes of the Palestine Children's Relief Fund told WGN, "She's going to one day be able to walk and participate in activities like other children can—playing, riding bikes. I think that's pretty incredible for her and her family."
All the children treated will stay with host families arranged by PCRF volunteers until they can return to their parents.
As for the other children receiving care through PCRF, 11-year-old Moath Abu Daher is in Detroit for a new leg. Two-year-old twins Lames and Remas Shalof will receive orthopedic surgery at the Shriners Hospital in Los Angeles.