Dr. Munjed Al Muderis (02:56)
Orthopedic surgeon Munjed Al Muderis is a leader is creating artificial limbs in Australia. He fled Iraq but is returning to his home country to spend 10 days working in a Baghdad hospital. Iraq has one of the largest populations of amputees and disabled people because of the years of warfare.
Prosthesis in Iraq (02:10)
Ali Bassem lost his leg fighting against ISIS and like many, he has an outdated prosthetic limb that is hard to use. Al Muderis specializes in osseointegration, a new surgical technique that merges the mechanical limb with human bone. The smart limbs work through mind control sensors and move almost normally.
Al Muderis in Iraq (03:12)
Al Muderis grew up and became a doctor in Iraq under Saddam Hussein's regime. He decided to flee after being ordered to mutilate army deserters and witnessed those who refused be killed. He arrived in Australia and spent 10 months in a detention center.
Amputees in Iraq (02:39)
Bassem's wife left him and their young son after his lost leg, which he says is common. Disabled people have few rights and are treated poorly in Iraqi society. He and his son, Hussein, were overjoyed to hear that he was chosen for Al Muderis' surgery.
Civilian Injuries (03:30)
Amani was only 10 years old when she lost both her legs in an explosive. At 18, she is frustrated by her lack of mobility, but also competes as a para-athlete in javelin for Iraq. Al Muderis believes he can make her walk with an osseointegration surgery, but the government is giving priority to injured soldiers over civilians.
Cost of Surgery (03:07)
Ghadban lost both his legs in a mortar explosive while walking to college. As a civilian he must pay for the osseointegration surgery himself and his mother sold the family home to get the money. He wants to live a normal life and propose to his girlfriend, whose family will not let her marry a man who cannot walk.
First Surgery in Iraq (03:40)
Bassam becomes the first person in Iraq to receive the osseointegration implant from Al Muderis. Many of his staff from Sydney volunteered to come along for the trip. New patients continue to arrive at the hospital after hearing about Al Muderis' work.
Government Approval (03:34)
The government is delaying approval for Al Muderis' surgeries for civilians, even ones who can pay, like Ghadban. His mother, Amira, pleads with government officials to allow her son's surgery. Al Muderis and his team have been working 17-hour days.
Religious Support (03:03)
Al Muderis and his team stop surgeries for a day to visit the country's top religious leader. They support the operations and Al Muderis' work.
Civilian Surgeries (05:22)
The prime minister approved Al Muderis performing the surgery on civilians. Ghadban and Amira are overjoyed as he prepares for surgery. Al Muderis’ time in Iraq is running out and he is trying to help as many people as possible.
Impact in Iraq (06:06)
Al Muderis and his team performed more than 50 surgeries during their 10-day trip. He returns three months later with a prosthesis expert to attach the patients' robotic limbs. Bassam takes his first steps with his new leg.
Success Stories (03:47)
Al Muderis pays for para-athlete Amani to have the surgery and receive robotic legs. Ghadban has the surgeries and is waiting for his prosthetic legs. Al Muderis and his team stay in Iraq for another round of surgeries.
Credits: Machine Man (00:23)
Credits: Machine Man
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