Thursday, November 15th, 2018 pm30 9:17pm

11-year-old boy injured playing soccer in the Gaza Strip takes first steps in US

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An 11-year-old boy, who was brought from Palestine after he was injured while playing soccer in the Gaza Strip, is learning to walk again.

Abdulrahman Abood Nofal took his first steps Wednesday in Ohio, where he’s been receiving treatment since his injuries.

“Yesterday, he was able to put the prosthetic on and take his first steps,” Abdulrahman’s host, Yousef Mousa, told ABC News.

In April, Abdulrahman was playing soccer with his friends near the Gaza border when a protest took place.

“The ball got near the border, and he went to grab it,” Mousa said. “On his way back, there was a lot of tear gas and two shots. One of those shots landed in his leg below the knee.”

The leg was removed “because there was too much damage,” according to Mousa.

PHOTO: Abdulrahman Abood Nofal, 11, lost his leg after he was injured while attempting to retrieve a soccer ball from the scene of a protest in the Gaza Strip. He was brought to Canton, Ohio by a charity to receive a prosthetic and physical therapy.WEWS
Abdulrahman Abood Nofal, 11, lost his leg after he was injured while attempting to retrieve a soccer ball from the scene of a protest in the Gaza Strip. He was brought to Canton, Ohio by a charity to receive a prosthetic and physical therapy.

Three weeks ago, Abdulrahman was brought to the U.S. to get better medical assistance with his injury, and Steve Sosebee, the founder of the charitable organization Palestine Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF) — which brings sick children from the Middle East to the U.S. for free medical treatment — was able to help the young boy.

“After he was injured, he was taken to a hospital in Gaza and then to the West Bank but they were not able to save his leg,” Sosebee told ABC News.

“Nofal came with a doctor who was volunteering with us in Gaza to the United States,” Sosebee said, “he stayed with me and my family for two weeks.”

Yanke Bionics, an orthopedic and prosthetic services provider in Ohio, provided Abdulrahman with a prosthetic and free treatment, ABC affiliate WEWS-TV in Clevland reported.

PHOTO: Abdulrahman Abood Nofal, 11, lost his leg after he was injured while attempting to retrieve a soccer ball from the scene of a protest in the Gaza Strip. He was brought to Canton, Ohio by a charity to receive a prosthetic and physical therapy.WEWS
Abdulrahman Abood Nofal, 11, lost his leg after he was injured while attempting to retrieve a soccer ball from the scene of a protest in the Gaza Strip. He was brought to Canton, Ohio by a charity to receive a prosthetic and physical therapy.

“He has done phenomenal,” Renee Horn with Yanke Bionics told WEWS-TV referring to Abdulrahman and his prosthetic.

After spending two weeks staying with Sosebee, Abdulrahman now stays with Mousa’s family, goes to school and has been learning to walk.

“He’s doing great. He’s in school,” Mousa, who volunteers for Palestine Children’s Relief Fund, told ABC News. “He likes swimming a lot. He’s actually a good swimmer.”

Mousa, who met Abdulrahman through his internship work with Palestine Children’s Relief Fund, calls Abdulrahman his “little brother,” adding that he took him in because “he’s a child from where I am from Palestine.”

PHOTO: Abdulrahman Abood Nofal, 11, lost his leg after he was injured while attempting to retrieve a soccer ball from the scene of a protest in the Gaza Strip. He was brought to Canton, Ohio by a charity to receive a prosthetic and physical therapy.WEWS
Abdulrahman Abood Nofal, 11, lost his leg after he was injured while attempting to retrieve a soccer ball from the scene of a protest in the Gaza Strip. He was brought to Canton, Ohio by a charity to receive a prosthetic and physical therapy.

Now, Abdulrahman is excited about life, Mousa added.

“Even though he’s injured he still loves life,” Mousa said. “He loves to play and move around, even with crutches. It is inspirational to see that.”

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