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Generosity brings Somali woman to Brisbane for facial reconstruction

Ayaan Mohamed, 25, was shot as a child during Somalia's civil war. She is set to undergo a facial reconstruction at Brisbane's Wesley Hospital (Photo: helpayaan.org) .

By Cameron Atfield
Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The long wait for a Somali woman left horribly disfigured when she was shot in the face as a child is almost over.

Ayaan Mohamed, now 25, suffered horrific facial injuries as a result of the attack during Somalia's brutal civil war.

In addition to cosmetic disfigurement, Ms Mohamed has difficulty eating and drinking and is unable to close her right eye.

She will arrive in Brisbane next week to undergo reconstructive surgery, thanks to the generosity of local Rotary clubs, donors and medical experts in the Queensland capital.

And she will be accompanied by the former foreign minister of the autonomous territory of Somaliland, Edna Adan Ismail.

Wesley Hospital medical services director Luis Prado said the hospital would cover the costs of Ms Mohamed's hospital stay, theatre and other costs.

“Mrs Ismail's tireless humanitarian work, the donations made and the community spirit shown by people here and overseas have combined to help achieve this outcome to bring Ms Mohamed to Brisbane,” Dr Prado said.

“Many of the Wesley's visiting medical specialists and staff are generously volunteering their time and skills to assist.”

Brisbane's High-Rise and Mitchelton Rotary clubs raised the money for Ms Mohamed's trip to Australia.
The surgery, expected to take place on February 22, has been a long time coming.

The Wesley Hospital and Rotary had offered to bring Ms Mohamed to Australia for the complicated surgery free of charge last year, but the then-Gillard government denied her a medical visa last March.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison finally approved the visa last month, after a second visa application was made in October.


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