HEALTH >Turkish father teaching daughter with disabilities to walk with contraption due to lack of funds


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An impoverished aluminum worker in the southern province of Antalya has been trying to teach his daughter with disabilities to walk with a makeshift aluminum mechanism worth 150 Turkish Liras, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on May 4.

Ali İhsan Yıldırım hung an aluminum contraption from the ceiling of his house to teach his daughter Özge how to walk with prosthesis, after doctors were forced to amputate part of her left leg due to complications stemming from a protein deficiency caused by her premature birth.

After the amputation, carried out when Özge was just 13 days old, Yıldırım filed a criminal complaint against the private hospital that conducted the surgery, claiming that the operation was made necessary due to an incorrect injection.

Yıldırım went to a private physical rehabilitation center for his daughter but could not afford the physiotherapy course due to the family’s financial struggles.

He therefore resorted to creating an aluminum contraption from the ceiling for his daughter. Özge first learned to balance while standing before learning to walk with two hours of exercise each day, and she can now even walk or run without the mechanism.       

Yıldırım said the day that his daughter started to walk was the happiest day in his life.

“We’ve had rough days. I had to make my daughter’s life easier. She learned to walk and balance while standing. I am so happy now,” he added.      

He also said legal action could not be taken against the hospital and its officials due to a lack of evidence.

“They said that my daughter had protein C deficiency,” Yıldırım said, adding that subsequent analyses revealed that there was no illness. 

“We will continue our legal struggle. All we want is punishment for those responsible,” he added.

Meanwhile, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has reportedly spoken with Yıldırım by phone, pledging the government’s “moral and material support” for him.

Hakan Tütüncü, the mayor of the Kepez district of Antalya, also visited the Yıldırım family after hearing news about Özge. It was during Tütüncü’s visit that Erdoğan requested to speak with Yıldırım on the phone. 

Yıldırım reportedly said he wanted legal support, to which Erdoğan responded that Tütüncü was a qualified lawyer and would take action against those responsible.


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