NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — A touching reunion took place on Staten Island on Saturday, when a U.S. Army Major and an Iraqi boy who was injured by a landmine got a chance to reunite after meeting half a world away.
Wad, 13, was seriously injured five years ago when he picked up a landmine, the blast took away an arm, a leg, and scarred his face so badly that he couldn’t smile or chew.
Major Morrie Fanto brought Wad’s injuries to the attention of the Global Medical Relief Fund.
“If he wouldn’t have met him, I don’t know if he ever would have gotten help,” Fund spokesperson Elissa Montanti told CBS 2’s Cindy Hsu.
Wad first came to the United States three years ago to undergo surgery. He recently returned to America to receive more treatment and prosthetics that will help him lead a normal life.
Americans who have worked with Wad sang the boy’s praises on Saturday.
“Oh god, he’s so appreciative, and he’s so loving,” Montanti said, “You know he’s a very affectionate child.”
Wad’s father thanked Fanto for giving his son the chance to play soccer again and live a normal life, but Fanto said that he is the one who feels lucky.
“I’m just really glad to have had the opportunity to meet him and you know, become friends,” he said.
The two now share an unbreakable bond. Wad is in the U.S. to receive a new arm, a leg, and possibly an eye.
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