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Split fortunes for two injured Syrian boys in Europe

Two injured Syrian boys trying to get medical treatment in Europe have had very different fortunes in their struggle – largely because of how the continent closed its borders since the migration crisis erupted in 2015.

Mannan Osso was nine years old when his tent caught fire in a migrant camp.

He suffered third-degree burns to much of his body but his face and hands were so badly burned it left the boy unable to recognise his own reflection.

Mannan was in Greece with his mother and sister when the fire happened.

Mannan Osso with his sister before his injuries
Image:
Mannan Osso with his sister before his injuries

His father Ali had gone ahead to Germany to claim asylum and was in Berlin when he received the terrible news that his son had been so badly disfigured.

Ali told Sky News: “When I saw him get off the plane and I saw what happened to his face I had no words.

“Tears ran down. Where is my son? What happened to him? But I thanked God he was alive.”

Mannan and his mother and sister have been allowed to join Ali in Berlin on the migration reunification programme.

He suffered severe burns across his body
Image:
He suffered severe burns across his body

Being in Germany gives Mannan a real opportunity to get the medical help he needs.

His mother Amina said: “He used to be a normal kid. He’d go outside and play. But now when he goes outside children stare and he starts to cry. He asks why they are looking at him.”

Consultants in Berlin make incisions in what remains of his horrifically burnt left hand to try to and create partial fingers.

They also make incisions at the corners of his mouth to help him smile more easily.

Mannan's father gambled on going to Berlin to claim asylum
Image:
Mannan’s father gambled on going to Berlin to claim asylum

This is just the start of years of work for Mannan and an equally difficult journey to come to terms with what has happened to him.

Najib Ali was 13 years old when his family’s home in the Syrian city of Homs was hit in an airstrike.

He is now in a wheelchair and unable to walk.

Najib’s family pushed him from Syria to Turkey then used people smugglers to get to Europe – arriving in Greece with the hope their son would walk again.

He told Sky he feels "tired" and always in pain
Image:
Najib was badly injured in an airstrike

Najib’s mother Faten Sh’houd told me: ‘I’m afraid that at any moment his temperature will go up and I will lose him.’

When I first meet Najib he had already been in Greece for a year without being able to see a specialist consultant.

Meanwhile, doctors have discovered he has problems with his kidneys.

Najib's collapsed spine is causing problems in his abdomen
Image:
Najib’s collapsed spine is causing problems in his abdomen

His father Talal said: “My son was a child of seven years old walking around. Suddenly he’s bedridden and we have to carry him from place to place.

“We’re tired. He’s tired. He’s my son – he’s a piece of my heart.

“When we set out we didn’t know the borders were closed. It used to be that you go from Syria, you get to Greece then you get to Germany or the country that wants you.

“Greece is good but it doesn’t have the medical care that Najib needs.”

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