‘Born without legs, fleeing civil war - but still standing’: Young refugee's life to be transformed by act of kindness

Eight-year-old Maya was born without legs but her life is about to be transformed. Credit: ITV News

Sometimes only seeing is believing. Hearing about Maya was no substitute for watching the video of her walking.

Her legs are made of pieces of PVC piping. Her feet are old sardine tins. She walks on what was garbage.

The child is eight years old and her father put together the makeshift legs for her to get around the refugee camp in which they live in northern Syria.

The family home in Aleppo is a distant memory. They fled because of the war and now live in a tent.

Maya's father constructed these makeshift limbs from PVC piping and old sardine tins. Credit: ITV News

Her plight says so much about the Syrian tragedy. Born without legs; banished from home by war; too poor to get prosthetic legs - but she’s still standing.

Last week Maya was in Syria. Today she’s in Istanbul, where her life is in the process of being transformed by an act of kindness.

Dr Mehmet Culcu meets Maya and her father. Credit: ITV News

Prosthetics specialist Dr Mehmet Culcu was so moved when he saw pictures of the child online that he made it known to various aid agencies that if they could get Maya to him he would take care of everything for free.

The doctor examined Maya in his Istanbul clinic yesterday.

“I’m happy to say Maya is going to walk," he told me with a smile.