CANTON -- A Canton plastic surgeon is lending a hand to help a Palestinian girl whose head and hands were badly burned as a baby.
Shaima Ayoubi was fourteen months old when a candle fell onto her crib and burned her. She is now a shy but independent nine-year-old, who dreams of going to college and becoming a teacher.
Originally from a Gaza City slum, Shaima is living with a host family in North Canton until her surgeries are completed. The surgeries to help correct the damage are being done at Aultman Hospital in Canton. A skin expander will be used to stretch the healthy skin, and then will surgically be used to cover scar tissue. Shaima's fingers were amputated in previous operations.
Shaima's host family is trying to keep her tied to her culture. They say she is very mature, possibly due to the pain and struggle she has been through so far. She'll be in Ohio through the fall, but communicates with her family in Gaza via Skype.
While Shaima is self-conscious about her lack of hair, Jeffery Paul at Wigs for Kids in Rocky River is making a wig for her to wear while she goes through this process.
The surgery was made possible by the Palestinian Children's Relief Fund (PCRF). The organization places the children with volunteer foster families wherever they can get free medical care. For more information about PCRF, visit their website.