‘Killed trying to save people’s lives’: Aleppo neighborhood loses last surgeon in rebel fire
Dr. Shahed was killed on Thursday by a Katyusha rocket fired from the rebel-held Kafr Hamra area in Aleppo Province, Lizzie Phelan reported.
“He [Shahed] died because they called him and told him there was shelling and some people were in the medical center who needed his help, so he went to try and save their lives, and he was killed,” the surgeon’s wife, Mayada, said.
His wife added that Dr. Shahed “was always helping people.”
“Wherever he worked and whomever he met, people loved him. Since he died I got so many calls from the doctors’ union in Aleppo who all spoke about what a great doctor my husband was,” she said.
“He was my whole life, I feel empty without him… I can’t tell you the sorrow I feel from losing him, he was my husband and my whole family, and I wish I ... died in his place.”
Shahed’s teenage son Rashid sat next to his mother, crying.
“I am so proud that I am the son of a martyr. I thank everyone ... with us and who are helping us. I am so proud, I can’t talk,” he said.
Rashid says that he will continue what his father did – taking care of the people and helping them.
“I will carry out my father’s will and become a doctor and if God allows me I will be an even better doctor than my father,” he said.
Dr. Shahed’s death comes as a shock for his numerous patients. One of them is 15-year-old Berfin who was shot in her leg.
“I will remember when they brought me here and I was hurt and how he joked and laughed with me so I wouldn't feel the pain,” she said.
Berfin said that the Sheikh Maqsood neighborhood is their homeland and the people there “are not afraid of their snipers, [and] mortars.”“Whatever happens we will stay here,” she added.
There are only three remaining colleagues of Dr. Shahed in the neighborhood, with none of them being a surgeon. Two of them are general doctors and the third one calls himself “a semi-doctor.” In fact Dr. Mohammed Jassim is a volunteer who was trained by Dr. Shahed himself.
Patients in Sheikh Maqsood may go to government-run hospitals in west Aleppo, but they have just one makeshift hospital in a former school to get emergency care.
“February and April of 2016 was the worst period for Sheikh Maqsood we got thousands of attacks, so many different kinds of shelling, and according to my statistics we had almost 800 dead and injured civilians, and the neighborhood was largely destroyed,” Jassim said.