Young Syrian Patient Faces Rare Disease Treatment Without His Parents

March 15, 2017

by Melissa Etehad for the L.A. Times

At a time when many refugees fleeing war yearn for escape to America, Tony Alsabaa dreams of going home to Syria.

He misses his mother.

The 5-year-old, a U.S. citizen, left Damascus in August and came to Los Angeles in order to receive medical treatment for a rare disease that leaves him with infections in his spine and unable to walk without a back brace.

Tony’s Syrian mother, Maisaa Assaf, sent him to the U.S. alone in August, after she was denied a visa for a second time during the waning months of the Obama administration.

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