We met this injured girl in the 2014 Israel-Gaza war. Seven years on, what happened when we set out to find her again?

Randa was badly injured after an explosion in Gaza 2014 (left) - now aged 10, we met her again this week. Credit: ITV News

ITV News Camera Operator Sean Swan was with ITV News Senior International Correspondent John Irvine in Gaza as they covered the recent conflict between Israel and Palestinian militants. Here, Sean writes about how they set out to trace a young girl they first met during the 2014 war after being left badly injured.

We never heard her speak, we never heard her cry, and yet to "look at her injuries," I thought, she must be in so much pain she probably doesn’t have the energy to do either.

We walked into Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, a city in the southern Gaza Strip, on 22 July 2014. The war was raging and the destruction was unbelievable. One area, Shejaiya, reminded me of an earthquake zone.

We were brought to the paediatric wing of the hospital to see some of the kids injured in war. I could see a very young kid lying on a bed; I could not tell if it was a boy or a girl such were the extent of the injuries and the loss of hair caused by the bomb.

The woman sitting beside her bed was her aunt, Amani. She explained that the child’s burning body had been thrown clear by the explosion which killed her mother, brother and sister instantaneously, while her father would die days later from the injuries he sustained.

Watch John Irvine's report from Monday, filmed by Sean Swan, where they met Randa again, seven years after the 2014 Israel-Gaza war

This video contains distressing images

“She will be my daughter now," Amani said.

Her aunt has worked out that that if she lifts her niece up it gives her a few moments of respite from the burns to her body. As she lifted her into a sitting position I could see how much pain she was in - I literally gasped. Yet again not a sound from her.

Her name is Randa. She was three-years-old.

Seven years later, we find ourselves at Erez checkpoint between Israel and Gaza waiting to enter during the latest outbreak of hostilities. It is deadly quiet, and chaotic at the same time.

Gaza in 2014. Credit: ITV News

Lots of hurry up and wait. Time to think about how we are going to file our report if we can get in. What do we concentrate on, if and when we clear the red tape at the border?

Randa, I wonder where she is and how is she doing. She must be 10 now, if alive.

Our producer extraordinaire, Yara Borgal, goes into action to see if she can find Randa with the aid of our local helpers.

24 hours later, John Irvine and myself head down to Khan Younis, an hour south of Gaza city, to where she is reported to be living. After many conversations between our driver and locals we arrive at the gates of the family compound.

The car used to reach Randa's home. Credit: ITV News

It is made up of about six houses, one of which is the badly scorched house which was the scene of the explosion which took the life of Randa family, still standing and in the same state since that day in 2014.

We enter the house at the end of the sandy laneway and, after taking our shoes off in the customary manner, we walk in with all the camera gear. And there she is, sitting against a wall with her aunt and family members.

I am aware she will have no memory of meeting me before but I sure do of her.

We set up the camera kit and everyone is chatting, everyone but Randa. I am still yet to hear her speak. Her eyes scan the room, back and forth, taking in all the conversations.

Watch ITV News Correspondent Geraint Vincent's report from 2014 of three-year-old Randa after she was badly burned in the explosion

This video contains distressing images

So once we have taken a few shots John and I decide we should leave the room to allow her to talk with our local producer with, which she feels more comfortable.

I left the camera rolling and went to the next room where we waited - I could hear her talk for the first time.

Randa was distraught when the bombs started landing in Gaza yet again. And at just 10 she persuaded the grown ups to leave and find a safer hiding place.

The Israel-Gaza conflict explained

“I was so scared they would bomb our house again so I wanted everybody to evacuate,” she said.

When we got the shout to come back in we chatted with Randa.

We asked how she was doing at school and what did she want to do later in life. She replied that she wants to be a teacher.

She has learned so much in her first 10 years of life. I look forward to seeing her again whenever that may be.