In October 2007, a Yemeni family of four young girls and their mom arrived in New York to reunite with their dad. After just days together in their new apartment, a gas explosion ripped through the walls of their home on 119th Street in Harlem.
Alouf Hassan, the 29-year-old mother, later succumbed to her injuries. Sisters Duaa, Twka, Lina and Afaf all sustained serious burns over 60% to 90% of their bodies. Following treatment at a New York City Burn Center all of the girls required further care.
Three girls were discharged home – to a homeless shelter – and their father Rassas Al Gaithi where they received St. Mary’s home care services. The most severely injured, 6 year-old Duaa, came to St. Mary’s Hospital for Children. Duaa was hospitalized for more than 10 months while she underwent extensive therapy and rehabilitation that led to a miraculous recovery.
St. Mary’s helped the family find a permanent home where Duaa could rejoin them and heal together both physically and emotionally. Duaa continues to receive care at St. Mary’s – in the after school program – where she will continue to receive therapeutic services to aid her amazing recovery.