December 26, 2018
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Sky News viewers who have followed the story of Najib Ali have donated tens of thousands of pounds towards his treatment.

The UK charity Goodwill Caravan has been sponsoring Najib and organised crowdfunding to support him.

Its founder Hanan Ashegh said: “It’s a miracle.

“He’s got a straight back.”

I’ve been following the plight of Najib Ali for nearly two years.

When I first met and reported on him, Najib and his family were stuck in Greece unable to get the medical help they needed.

Najib's mother has been by his side throughout his ordeal
Image:Najib’s mother has been by his side throughout his ordeal

Najib has undergone surgery at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London.

The operation was carried out by orthopaedic surgeon Ramesh Naderajah.

He told me: “We use about 25 to 32 screws.

“It’s a very complex operation.

“The key thing is that there are other bits of shrapnel in his back which can make the operation to straighten it more difficult.”

The youngster has been treated in London thanks to donations from Sky viewers
Image:The youngster has been treated in London thanks to donations from Sky viewers

Sky News filmed as the specialist team cut deeper and deeper into Najib’s back to reveal his spine.

They then used state of the art rods and screws to straighten his back carefully positioning and securing each one.

Several hours in and the surgeons reached a huge fragment of shrapnel from the airstrike which was still lodged in Najib’s back but was too deeply embedded to remove.

The operations lasted for more than six hours.

Najib has undergone rehabilitation at Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Middlesex.

Najib can now sit with a straight back after his surgery
Image:Najib can now sit with a straight back after his surgery

He is able to manoeuvre himself for the first time in nearly six years since the airstrike in Syria.

Najib said: “Before the operation my back was in pain.

“I’d cry all day because of the pain.

“And the pain would affect my knees, my body and my shoulders.

“Thank you everyone who donated and to the charity for helping me.”

The procedure isn’t a miracle cure enabling Najib to walk again but it has improved his and his mother’s quality of life dramatically.

His mother Faten Sh’houd said: “Najib was always on my lap.

“I’ve always carried him like a five-month-old baby and had to look after him.

“Before the operation everything was difficult for him.

“I was responsible for everything he did. I would always be with him.

“Now I’m much happier that Najib is better. Najib’s situation has improved and I ask God to help him with his treatment so he can improve even more.”

Goodwill Caravan’s fundraising for Najib has finished but the charity says there are many more children in Greece who need their help.

Founder Hanan Ashegh said: “When we see Najib now he’s almost unrecognisable.

“He’s with a straight back.

“He can take a full breath.

“He can put on his top on his own.

“It might not sound like a big thing but before he could barely move his arm to move himself on the sofa when we first met him two years ago.”

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