Patient Story from Gaza

 The story of Bilal, January 27, Gaza City

Bilal, 14, is being helped by his father to drink a can of cola. Bilal is feeling better, about an hour after he was operated on by a surgical team in an MSF field hospital in Gaza City.

It all started on January 6.

Bilal was staying home, north of Gaza City, when an Israeli bombardment hit the house. There was a big explosion. Bilal was severely injured. He had a big wound to his right foot and he also had burns on his whole body.

Bilal was brought to Gaza City's Al Shifa hospital, where he was operated on in a hurry. At the height of the Israeli military operations, hospital staff were overwhelmed with wounded patients. In order to free space for other emergency cases, Bilal was sent to another hospital and then discharged.

As the days passed his foot continued to bleed and became infected. Bilal was referred to MSF's field hospital and underwent a "wound debridement" operation -- the removal of dead or infected tissue from a wound. Although he required a blood transfusion after the operation, doctors say he is going to recover quickly.

However, almost one month on, Bilal is still feeling shocked, his father says.

"It is like Bilal is depressed, he has less motivation for life. His two brothers and his sister were also injured in the explosion. They are all scared by any single noise."