REAL LIFE

Fire Victim Got A New Face And Lease On Life Thanks To A Stranger From Another Country

Date July 17, 2019 12:31

Nothing is harder for the parents than a misfortune of their child. It gets even harder when there’s not much they can do to help. In serious situations, money and connections are indispensable, while simple, low-income families have neither.

In 2006, Iraqi girl Teeba was only 4 when her fate turned upside down. When she was still at this tender age, she became a victim of a fire that killed her elder brother. One day, Teeba’s father got in a taxi with the kids. The country was at war and their car struck an improvised explosive device, which resulted in a fire. Teeba and the driver survived, but she received severe burns and also lost the hair on her head forever.

Teeba’s family lived in a village, and the provincial culture was cruel to people with such injuries. As her daughter was recovering, the mother was gradually coming to terms with the fact that Teeba was doomed to become an outcast. People would avoid the girl, and she would have practically zero chances of finding a decent job or a husband. When Teeba grew up a little, her father turned to Iraqi journalists, who published her story asking for help.

The story made a big splash even beyond the country’s borders. Then, the piercing and inquisitive stare of the injured girl in the photo caught the eye of an American, Barbara Marlow. She and her husband were leading a quiet and happy life, but couldn’t have children. Barbara and Tim decided to help Teeba at any cost.

It all started with consultations with surgeons and the embassy. Teeba’s mother made the critical high ground decision to send her daughter to people whom she didn’t know. The devastated woman knew that this was Teeba’s only chance to get good treatment and, perhaps, a new face. In 2007, the brave girl went to the US, where she was surrounded with love and care from the very first meeting with people who would later become her family. Teeba had 19 operations and Barbara eventually became her second mother.

By 2019, the girl was already getting ready for college. After a long separation, she met her biological mother for the first time only in 2015, even though all that time both families maintained close communication.

Teeba noted that she doesn’t think of her mothers as real or adoptive. There are two women in her life, and both are her mothers, equally loved.

It’s not easy to recognize that child with a silent prayer for salvation in the eyes in this beautiful girl, right? Of course, she still has scars on her pretty face, but she wouldn’t have been that pretty had Barbara not seen her photo and decided to help complete strangers.

Teeba and her American mother wrote a book about the girl’s story, entitled A Brave Face. It’s not just a diary and a bunch of inspirational words, it’s a real-life example of the fact that there are no borders for kindness. The book includes materials written by Teeba, her biological mother, and Barbara.

The Marlowes and Teeba’s family come from very different cultural and social backgrounds, but this didn’t prevent complete strangers from joining efforts to help a child. It’s hard to believe that there are people who can turn their whole lives around for the sake of a stranger. Such stories deserve to be heard, don’t they?