A young boy, Ali Abbas, was living in a village near Baghdad in 2003. His home was hit by two U.S. missiles at the start of the Iraq war, killing many members of his family. Ali was severely wounded: his mangled arms were amputated, and he had third-degree burns over 35% of his body.
He was taken to a Baghdad hospital that had limited resources to help him and his uncle described Ali as “dying and rotting before my eyes.” A Reuters photographer took a picture of the boy as he lay in excruciating pain and it was this image that compelled the people of Great Britain to respond with an outpouring of sympathy. With donations from the public and pressure from Prime Minister Tony Blair, Ali was flown to a hospital in Kuwait where he was given proper medical attention, including receiving painkillers for the first time in 18 days. Ali now lives in London as a member of Britain’s Limbless Association.
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