Chicago Doctors Help Save Lives In Syrian Civil War

CHICAGO (CBS) – A haunting video of a dirty and bloodied little boy silently sitting in an ambulance was seen by millions of people around the world. 5-year-old Omran was pulled a week ago from rubble of his home following an airstrike in Syria.

Chicago doctors are helping victims of the civil war in Syria by donating and delivering medical equipment.

Dr. Bassel Atassi owns a storage space, which he calls ‘little warehouse,’ in the south suburbs storing medical equipment to be taken to Syria. Equipment like IV machines, monitors and hospital beds are the supplies needed.

The supplies are delivered to an underground hospital in Syria, where bomb victims, like Omran, are treated. Dr. Zaher Sahloul took a trip to Syria with two other doctors to deliver supplies, saving a life of another Syrian child at that hospital recently.

“I hesitated to take it because it was very bulky,” Dr. Sahloul said.

Only 35 physicians remain at this hospital, serving over the 300,000 population under siege.

“Actually, the driver when we went through that road to Aleppo, he told us, you have to say your final prayer,” Dr. Sahloul said.

The Syrian-American Medical Society are trying to plan a mission mid-October, if the road is open, Dr. Atassi said. But coordination the trip is not easy with many doctors working full-time.

“I cannot stop,” said Dr. Abdul Amine. “As long as I’m alive. As long as I am able to provide where I can provide, I will continue to do so.”

People will medical connections are asked to help by donating supplies both new and used. Volunteers for the Syrian-American Medical Society will sort and test all donated supplies. They are also accepting monetary donations.

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