Boy, 11, travels more than 6,000 miles without family to NC for prosthetic leg

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Friday, August 3, 2018
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Child travels more than 6,000 miles to get fitted for prosthetic leg

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WTVD) -- Thanks to the Palestine Children's Relief Fund, Ahmad Ostaz, 11, was able to travel more than 6,000 miles from his home outside Ramallah in the West Bank to Chapel Hill to get fitted for a new prosthetic leg.

Ahmad made the trip without any family members.

"Ahmad traveled here alone, but he was accompanied by a PCRF volunteer from Jordan to Chicago, then from Chicago to Raleigh, he was on his own and he was met by volunteers here," explained PCRF volunteer Lena Handoush.

Handoush is part of the Raleigh Chapter of the PCRF. She and other volunteers, including a host family for Ostaz, are helping care for him and translate Arabic for Ostaz while he is in North Carolina.

Atlantic Prosthetics and Orthotics in Chapel Hill is providing the prosthetic leg for Ostaz.

He was born with a leg deformity that required amputation and he wasn't able to replace the one he's used for years in his hometown.

"He was having trouble going down stairs, he wanted to participate in soccer and he wasn't able to do that," explained Atlantic Prosthetics and Orthotics clinical manager Brandon Barham.

"It's been a challenge because we know when we send him home he's not going to have very much support over there so we need everything to be right for a while," Barham said.

Barham explained Ostaz's new prosthetic will have hydraulic controls so it will allow Ostaz to do many things much easier, including running.

Barham showed Ostaz some of the designs he can have on his permanent replacement once it is finished, including superheroes or other characters.

Through a translator, Ostaz smiled and said he is leaning toward having the flag of Palestine on his new prosthetic to proudly show it off when he returns home.