As Syria refugees pour into Jordan, Turkey, and Lebanon, Caritas is giving them food, medical care, and emergency aid. Ilham, a mother of five, described a harrowing day in her home city to Caritas Communications Officer Laura Sheahen.
I have nothing to do with the military, I am a civilian. We’re from Bab Amr, in Homs.
One day I wanted to go get milk. My neighbour Adnan said, “Don’t go, I’ll bring you milk. I’m afraid you’ll be killed.” The snipers shoot from a long distance. We don’t see the shooter, but he sees us.
It was about 2 pm and Adnan was bringing the milk to me, two containers. A shooter was up in a building in a small window.
He was shot. The bullet went through his arm to his heart.
I went out to try to save Adnan. The person who shot him also shot me, to prevent me from reaching him. The bullet went through my left thigh. I was lucky it didn’t hit the bone.
Some people came to help. I said, “Go to him first, he’s bleeding so much.” But the medical services are bad, no one could save him.
I hopped to other neighbours and they tied a bandage around my leg.
I kept hoping things would improve. But my house was bombarded three times. I slept in my clothes and headscarf because I was afraid we’d have to run out at night, or someone would come in.
We left for Damascus, but then bombardments began there. I thought, “It’s becoming too bad.” I was afraid my children would be killed. I realized we had to leave.
Now we live here in Jordan.
I have epilepsy, and so do three of my children. My daughter has seizures twice a day. She foams at the mouth and her whole body becomes stiff.
Here in Jordan, my neighbours told me about Caritas. I am going to talk to the Caritas doctor about epilepsy medicine. If this doctor wasn’t here, I don’t know what I’d do.
I didn’t want to leave my country, but I was afraid for my kids.
Adnan had five children. We were neighbours, and like family. May he rest in peace.