O&P Companies Open Hearts to Palestinian Boy

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Sometimes something as everyday and innocent as bicycling to a barbershop can lead to devastating injury--if you live in a land torn by armed conflict.

Fourteen-year-old Mohammed Shbeir, who lives in Gaza, Palestine, sustained life-threatening injuries when an Israeli Apache helicopter fired a rocket at a car carrying a militant leader. The missile sprayed flying shrapnel as it exploded. The teen survived, but underwent amputation of his left leg below the knee.

Dr. Basil Hantash of the Palestinian Childrens Relief Fund (PCRF), an American relief group headquartered in Kent, Ohio, visited Shbeir and his mother in Gaza. Hantash then contacted Michael Dodd, CPO, owner of Applied Orthotics and Prosthetics, San Jose, California, for help. Dodd agreed to donate his services and contacted Freedom Innovations, Irvine, California, for a prosthetic foot.

Freedom Innovations donated a Freedom Series 2000 foot and the Hosmer Dorrance Corporation, Campbell, California, donated a leg. Dodd then fit Mohammed May 20 with the new, custom-made leg. Dodd guided Mohammed through his first steps on the prosthesisthe first time the teen had walked in over a year.

The conflict overseas has touched people worldwide, but when a child becomes a victim, it does not matter what side you are on, said Freedom Innovations President and COO Richard Myers. To help improve the quality of life for this young boy brings a great sense of pride and honor to the team at Freedom Innovations.

"So many people throughout the world wish there were a way they could help the victims of this conflict," said Dodd. "The staff at Applied Orthotics and Prosthetics and I are overjoyed to be able to help this innocent young boy and help give him a chance at a better life."

For more information about the Palestinian Childrens Relief Fund, visit www.pcrf.net.