Salar Sohrabi is a 14-year-old boy who lives in Iran. He suffers from a severe form of Scoliosis, a progressive spinal deformity that requires immediate surgery, and Marfan Syndrome, a connective tissue disorder. Doctors and medical facilities in Iran are refusing to perform the necessary, life-saving surgery on Salar because of “their inability to handle possible complications he might face,” according to HelpSalar.com. Born in the town of Karaj, Iran, Salar was diagnosed with Scoliosis at the age of five, making his young life difficult. While he has not been one to complain about his condition, his mother could “feel his sadness in his heart.”

“She noticed Salar often had been teased at school due to his physical appearance. Which added to their suffering even more. Salar’s only complaint was having severe back pain, which is a result of this type of illness.

Recently Salar’s mom took a leave of absence after 20 years of service to spend more time with him. She almost spends her entire $600 monthly salary on physical therapy, medical tests, and doctor’s visits etc. for Salar.”

Salar’s life has been surrounded by extremely painful events. In addition to the loss of his father, Salar was six years old when his paternal grandfather died. Subsequently, Salar also lost his maternal grandmother. Those two individuals were the closest supporters he had. Obviously, these losses have been very devastating events in his young life, but there is something that keeps Salar’s hope alive and whatever this thing might be, we are asking those of you who have been touched by his story to make his hope a reality.

Like any other kid of his age, Salar wants to be able to play his favorite sport, basketball, and hopefully someday become an Electronic Engineer. Please see how you can help…”

Salar’s family has been able to raise the funds necessary for him to receive treatment at Stanford Medical Center, thanks to generous private donations.  Stanford already has agreed to treat Salar in January 2010 at a significantly lower cost than the expensive procedure requires. Salar and his mother’s visas have, however, been denied.
Their nonimmigrant visas were denied because “the applicant did not demonstrate strong ties outside the United States and was not able to demonstrate that his/her intended activities in the U.S. would be consistent with the visa status.”
According to Dr. Ivan Cheng of the Stanford Medical Center upon reviewing Salar’s medical file:

“He is at very high risk for further curve progression and further deterioration of his lung function.  Ultimately, he will probably have a significantly shorter lifespan without surgery.”

It’s sad that this young boy’s family managed to beat the odds and get everything lined up for this critical operation, only to have his visa request denied. The State Department should take another look at this case.

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