Photos of eight-year-old Maya Merhi, walking on homemade prosthetics in a refugee camp, were recently shared in the international media. Due to the moving images, Maya is to receive real prosthetic limbs from a specialist in Turkey.

Maya has a congenital condition shared with her father, 34-year-old Mohammad Merhi, meaning they were both born without lower limbs. Mohammad had made Maya a set of artificial legs, using tin cans and plastic tubing.

Images of Maya bring attention to her plight

After photos did the rounds in the international media, prosthetic specialist Dr.

Mehmet Zeki Culcu organized for Maya to be brought to his Istanbul clinic and the young girl’s life will soon change for the better. The Daily Sabah quotes Dr. Culcu as saying that, “God willing,” Maya will walk within the next three months.

Up until recently, Maya and her father had found it easier to move around the camp by crawling. However, recent surgery on Maya had reduced her limbs even further, which made it impossible to crawl.

The Telegraph quotes Mohammad as saying Maya was unable to easily move around and spent all the time inside the tent.

That was when he got the idea to make homemade artificial limbs from plastic tubing, with a spongy material inside to reduce the pressure on her body. Mohammad then added two empty tuna cans to help the young girl move on the ground.

She was then able to get around better and to attend the school in the camp. Mohammad has five other children, but all of them have normal limbs.

Maya is originally from the Aleppo region of Syria but has been living with her father, Mohammad, in a refugee camp for displaced people in northern Syria.

They are victims of the civil war that has raged in the country more than seven years. The Turkish Red Crescent saw the images of her struggling to get around the refugee camp and immediately intervened. Turkish authorities then evacuated both Maya and her father, taking them for treatment at the specialized clinic in Istanbul.

Father and daughter to receive prosthetic limbs

Both Mohammad and his daughter will be receiving prosthetic limbs at the Turkish clinic, but her father says Maya’s are more important. He wants her to be more autonomous, saying it will be like a new life for both of them. He added that he dreams of seeing his daughter walking, going to school and coming home again without suffering.

As for Dr. Culcu, he said was so touched by the photos of Maya that he will be providing prosthetic limbs for both her and her father. He added that the clinic has been contacted by generous people from all over the world, who wish to donate towards the cost of the prosthetics, but he said he will be taking on the cost himself.

As noted in the CGTN video below, Turkey hosts more than 3.5 million Syrian refugees and is the largest host country for registered refugees from the war-torn region.