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Treating the children at an Aleppo hospital

September 6th, 2012
04:46 PM ET

By Nick Paton Walsh, CNN

Aleppo, Syria (CNN) - They are so used to seeing blood outside Dar alShifa hospital, the magnet of all suffering in Aleppo, that passersby simply walk over it, oblivious. When they mop out the building's tiny reception area, the blood runs in small, dirty streams into the gutters. This is a hospital trying to get by day-to-day while lacking the most basic in supplies. It has itself been hit by shelling: two separate attacks have left its right side punctured with gaping holes in what was once the maternity ward.

One afternoon, a rush of the most frail and vulnerable come towards the exhausted doctors; children, some suffering from sheer terror. One is malnourished. They have cuts, bruises - but more often much worse. The government has, the doctors say, closed the main children's hospital owing to a paperwork issue, so this is where they must come.

Mohamed is aged eight and was hit by shrapnel from regime shelling in his right leg. It shattered his femur. In Europe, surgery would mean he's playing football again within months, but here a list of precarious challenges form. He remains quiet, brave, patient almost, as the doctors work out what to do. FULL POST


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