10 Jul 2007

PR# 2007-529

6-year-old Afghan boy returns
with reconstructed face

FARAH, Afghanistan – A 6-year-old Afghan boy returned to his home in Bala Baluk district, Farah province recently, following six-months in California recuperating from extensive reconstructive surgery on his face and neck.

“I am so thankful to everyone who helped my son—the government, Provincial Reconstruction Team Farah and the doctors,” Mahsoon’s father said.  “I am a poor man from a small village.  And without these people’s kindness, my son would still be in great pain today.”

The Afghan ambassador to the United States praised Dr. A. Richard Grossman and his clinic’s staff for treating Mahsoon, allowing him to move his head freely and without pain.

“I am struggling to find the right word to say thank you to you and your colleagues for the miracle you performed,” said Ambassador Tayeb Jawad.  “Shamin (the ambassador’s wife) and I looked at the pictures of Mahsoon for a long time, and our heart was full of joy seeing the hope and happiness in Mahsoon’s beautiful and affectionate eyes.  It is not only Mahsoon, but all Afghans who will never forget what you’ve done.”

Mahsoon suffered severe burns following a house fire two years ago.  The scarring prohibited him from properly eating his food or speaking.  He received the surgery at Grossman Burn Center, Sherman Oaks, California.

Capt. Jay Berendzen and Lt. (Dr.) Afshin Afarin, PRT Farah, arranged for Mahsoon to travel to the United States in December 2006 to receive the surgery.

Contact Information ISAF Public Affairs Office
Tel: +93 (0)799 51 1155 - Mobile: 0093 (0) 799 55 8291 pressoffice@hq.isaf.nato.int - www.nato.int/isaf/