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Lebanese woman in coma for two years since Beirut Port explosion

Relatives of victims of the August Beirut port explosion stage a protest in front of the Justice Palace in Beirut, Lebanon, 7 February 2022 [Houssam Shbaro/Anadolu Agency]
Relatives of victims of the August Beirut port explosion stage a protest in front of the Justice Palace in Beirut, Lebanon, 7 February 2022 [Houssam Shbaro/Anadolu Agency]

A 43-year-old Lebanese woman has been resting in a coma for two years following the 2020 Beirut Port explosion, reported Anadolu Agency.

Lara Hayek was found by her mother, Najwa Hayek, in her home, severely injured, cold and drenched in blood amidst the mass destruction.

Najwa told Anadolu Agency: "At the moment of the explosion, Lara was alone in the house, and she was seriously injured in the head and eyes. After the explosion, I went straight home from my work to find Lara covered in blood, to begin a tormenting journey to find a vacant hospital in the middle of great destruction."

The explosion on 4 August 2020 was apparently caused by a stockpile of ammonium nitrate in a port warehouse. A large area of the Lebanese capital was damaged by the blast.

It is widely seen by Lebanese as a symbol of corruption and bad governance by a ruling elite that has also steered the country into a devastating financial collapse.

READ: Lebanon: parts of Beirut port grain silos collapse

"After I found a hospital in Beirut, the nurses and doctors didn't rush to help Lara immediately, but took care of the most severe cases, instead. After her body had completely cooled down, I started screaming and begging for them to come to help her," she added.

Lara was transferred from the American University Hospital in Beirut to the Bhanes Hospital, after being diagnosed with brain damage. It pains the mother to see her child unresponsive and lifeless with a beating heart.

The non-nuclear blast comes after Najwa lost her husband in 2019. Meanwhile, her son is currently living outside the capital.

"I consider Lara my friend, not just my daughter, and we used to live for each other but, after the explosion, I lost my reason for living," she explained.

According to the experts in a press release issued by the UN OHCHR office, the explosion destroyed 77,000 apartments, wounded 7,000 people and displaced over 300,000 more, at least 80,000 of whom were children.

"Today I feel like a robot," she added. "I wake up and go to work, then I go home alone, but I avoid my daughter's room." However, the mother refuses to lose hope.

"I have great faith that Lara will return to me, and I'm waiting for her to wake up, whatever her condition," Hayek said.

Lebanon will rise up from its ashes - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Lebanon will rise up from its ashes – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

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