Her mother and uncle were shot and killed in their Baghdad home. When the gunmen left, they dumped Fatima in the garbage on a 118-degree day.
“I’ve been deployed now in Iraq for 10, 11 months,” said Lt. Eric Laflin, who helped to save Fatima. “I’ve seen a lot of things, and this is one of the worst things I have seen.”
Her seven-year-old brother had gone to a U.S. patrol and begged for help. Iraqi troops found the terribly underweight Fatima, whose body was literally skin and bone.
After three weeks at the Combat Support Hospital in Baghdad’s Green Zone, the staff said she is doing much better.
“When she first got here, she looked like this little alien child,” said Katie VanBeusekom at the Combat Support Hospital. “And now she’s just like this cute little baby that, you know, screams at us when we don’t feed her.”
She will need her health because she faces a long road ahead with her surviving Iraqi family.
“I’ve got an 11-man team and they are 11 men who would gladly take Fatima home,” Maj. Andrew Yerkes said.
Yerkes plans to unite Fatima with her five siblings, who are now in an orphanage, and is hoping they will be able to find a relative able and willing to take care of all the children.
For now, Fatima is growing a little stronger every day.
The sad part is that when she becomes strong enough to leave the hospital she will probably end up in an orphanage with her siblings. It’s too bad that she couldn’t be brought back to North America to have a better chance at a normal life.