Young Mahmoud hid in his house as the violence raged outside in his neighborhood in Syria.

Then a shot rang out close to home, hitting a girl nearby. He didn’t know her, but he wanted to save her.

The 9-year old rushed out of his house and tried to pull her to safety. Instead, he was caught up in the violence and tied up, ropes tight around this ankles. The ropes cut into his legs for 18 days. By the time he walked free, gangrene had turned his left foot black.

To escape the violence and get help, he had to travel to Jordan — a six-day journey by motorcycle. He arrived at a refugee camp, but illness and fever began to take over his body.

Finally, he was taken to a hospital, where Islamic Relief Worldwide paid for his treatment. It was too late to save his left foot — it had to be amputated to save his life. Gangrene had started to spread in his right foot too, but alhamdulilah doctors were able to save that one.

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Now Mahmoud is recovering.

He’s out of the hospital and living in an apartment with his parents and two brothers. Islamic Relief is helping the family with rent, food and other needs. He’ll need a wheelchair and two more months of medical care. His family is poor and will not be able to pay for an artificial foot.

Mahmoud is smart and cheerful despite what he’s gone through. He has accepted his loss, but he has one wish:

“Now that I don’t have two feet to play with other kids on the playground,” he said to a visiting Islamic Relief representative, “Can I have a computer so I can play with them that way?”

Learn more about Islamic Relief’s efforts for Syrian refugees in need by visiting