A Very Happy Viral Video With A Sad Back Story

A Very Happy Viral Video With A Sad Back Story

It’s hard to imagine a happier face. But it’s a bittersweet story.

A joyful video of a 5-year-old Afghan boy, Sayeed Rehman, has gone viral. He had just been fitted with a new prosthetic leg, and he couldn’t stop dancing while flashing a wide smile.

He said he was happy to have a leg that fit him because he had outgrown his older ones — and happy he could dance again with the new prosthetic.

The video, taken last Saturday by one of his therapists at the ICRC Orthopaedic Center in Kabul, resonated with many in Afghanistan and around the world

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Sayeed Rehman’s own story is much like that of the tens of thousands of Afghan children affected by the years of conflict.

“He was injured when he was only 8 months old,” Sayeed Rehman’s mother, Raesa, told NPR over a phone call from their home province of Logar, some 40 miles from the capital city. “We live in an area where the Taliban are strong and there are lot of battles between the Afghan forces and the insurgents.”

The family was caught in one such attack close to their house. Sayeed Rehman and his older sister were both injured, while Raesa’s brother and nephew were killed, she said. She rushed the injured children to aclinic in the district center. They both survived, but Sayeed Rehman’s right leg had to be amputated.

The boy was hospitalized for a month and a half. “[He] came to our center in Kabul in December 2013 when he was approximately 10 months old,” recalls Dr. Alberto Cairo, head of the ICRC Orthopaedic Center in Kabul and one of Sayeed Rehman’s doctors.

Read full story on NPR