CINCINNATI — For the first time in months, 17-year-old Mohammed Al Ajjouri can walk without crutches, thanks to an organization in Cincinnati.
In March, the teenager from Gaza joined protests in the Gaza strip. What began peacefully ultimately erupted into violence, beginning months of unrest that continue today.
During the turmoil, Al Ajjouri was shot in the leg, despite being unarmed himself.
"He was in lots of pain, and then he lost consciousness," said his host mother, Arwa Atwan, translating for Al Ajjouri.
Al Ajjouri, a former athlete, struggled to recuperate and needed crutches to get around, until the Palestine Children's Relief Fund arranged for him to travel 6,000 miles to Cincinnati to be fitted for a prosthetic leg.
"At the beginning it was difficult, but now it's getting easier," he said.
Now he's looking forward, and planning his return to sports and a normal life. He says he hopes his story will encourage others to help those impacted by violence. "Hopefully more people will come and help these kids, because there are so many people waiting in line to get support and help."
He'll be recovering with his host family in Cincinnati for the next six weeks.