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Ali happy with artificial limbs

London, Oct. 13 (Reuters): An Iraqi boy who lost both arms and most of his family during the US-led war on Iraq has been successfully fitted with artificial limbs, a newspaper reported today.

Ali Ismaeel Abbas, whose armless torso, horrific burns and haunted eyes symbolised civilian suffering in the conflict, was pictured wearing the prosthetic arms in the Daily Mirror newspaper.

“I’m all here now. My arms feel good,” 13-year-old Abbas told the paper. “I didn’t think they’d look this good.

“Now I want to hug my sisters and the rest of my family. I also want to brush my teeth by myself and wash my face.”

The new arms were fitted at Queen Mary’s Hospital in London in treatment paid for by the Kuwait government. His left arm is a cosmetic prosthetic, because there was little remaining limb for surgeons to use, the paper said.

On his right side he has a working artificial limb operated by electrodes touching his remaining arm muscle.

Abbas is being treated at a London rehabilitation centre with another maimed Iraqi boy, Ahmed Mohammed Hamza, who lost a leg and a hand.

“Everybody is very nice, the doctors, cleaners and the coffee lady,” said Abbas.

“One day I hope they will come and visit us in Iraq.”

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