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Young Syrian amputee's story
03:37 - Source: CNN

Story highlights

11-year-old Abdulrahman lost his leg during a rocket attack is Syria

Abdulrahman's brother Omar promised his younger brother that he would walk again

The two brothers navigated the dangerous trek across the Turkish border to get help

U.S.-based group is working to get Abdulrahman the medical care he needs

CNN  — 

It was around 6:30 in the morning. The air was crisp, the farmers had just watered their fields – corn perhaps, Omar doesn’t entirely recall – and the ground was muddy, slippery and uneven.

There was a pack on his back, a bag slung over each shoulder, and cradled in his arms, the frail body of his 11-year-old brother Abdulrahman.

Abdulrahman, the baby of the family, couldn’t walk on his own. His left leg was blown off in late July.

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The last words of the driver who dropped them off echoed in Omar’s mind: “You’re on your own now.”

It was as far as the car could safely take them in Syria, a few hundred meters from the Turkish border.

Omar’s back ached, his arms in agony. He focused on putting down one foot after the other, struggling to keep his balance.

He looked down at Abdulrahman’s face every few minutes and tried to smile reassuringly.

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“The only thing that I could think was to arrive, that whatever I was going through, once I arrived it was all going to be OK,” Omar said.

For the safety of the brothers and their family back in Syria we are omitting their last name, specific locations, and other identifying details.

“There were fighter planes and there was a rocket that hit close to our house,” Abdulrahman says quietly about the day he was injured. “I went to see what was going on and another rocket hit.”

He doesn’t say much beyond that; at times simply nodding or smiling sweetly, or seemingly lost in his memories.

Tears slowly overflow out of Omar’s eyes. He slowly wipes them away as he looks down at Abdulrahman.

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Omar, 21, was sleeping when the first rocket hit. His mother, panicking, came running into his room.

“My mom woke me up saying, ‘Stand up immediately.’ She said Abdulrahman went out and the plane is roaming, is circulating above, you need to get him back to the house,” Omar tells us.

He was too late.

“I kept running, the first guy saw Abdulrahman injured and he said ‘Catch up to your brother, he’s about to die.’ I can’t control, I ran, ran, ran. When I got there, they told me the ambulance has just taken him.”

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Abdulrahman doesn’t speak to us about those moments.