'I screamed as loud as I could so they'd hear me'

Eight-year-old Osher Twito, in danger of losing second leg, transferred to Sheba for treatment.

twito kassam victim 224  (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
twito kassam victim 224
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Osher Twito, the eight-year-old Sderot boy who was seriously wounded in a Kassam rocket attack over the weekend, was transferred from Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon to Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer on Sunday because Barzilai lacks rehabilitation facilities. One of the boy's legs was amputated below the knee; the other one is in danger because of harm to an artery at ankle level. Osher, who dreamed of becoming a soccer player, does not know yet that he has lost one of his legs. Barzilai sources said Sunday that it was impossible to know immediately whether his whole-but-injured leg would have to be amputated or not, as there is always the threat of infection. Osher also suffered a fracture in one hand. He remains under total sedation and attached to a respirator, even though he can breathe on his own, so he doesn't suffer from severe pain. The amputation of the one leg took a long time and was difficult. If all goes well, the stump will be attached to a prosthetic leg. "It's too early to know what will happen to the other leg," said the Barzilai spokeswoman, Lea Malul. Osher and his brother Remi, 19, from Sderot, went for a short trip to the cash machine on Saturday night to withdraw some money for the present they planned to buy their father, Rafi, whose birthday was on Sunday. When the brothers and Remi's girlfriend, Kinneret, arrived at the ATM, they realized they had forgotten Remi's credit card at home. "Remi and Osher waited for me on the street to bring the credit card from the house," an exhausted Kinneret recalled Sunday as she waited for her boyfriend to get out of the operating room at Barzilai. "When I came back from the house, they started walking in my direction, and then the 'Color Red' alert was sounded for a second before it [the rocket] hit them. I was hiding, but when I lifted my head, I saw them both lying on the ground, crying for help and screaming in pain. I screamed as loud as I could so they would hear me, but what else could I do?" Osher loved to play soccer, his relatives said. "I don't know how my son will live without a leg," cried Osher's mother, Iris, shortly before seeing her two children for the first time since they had been rushed to the hospital. "He doesn't understand a thing yet, and he will have to understand that. Why does it have to be like this?" Iris asked in tears. Remi, moderately wounded in both legs, was awakened when transferred to Tel Hashomer. "I remember running in the street, and then the alarm went off. Next thing I knew, I was lying on the ground and my legs hurt. I called my mother and told her to come immediately because we were wounded," Remi said before he was put inside the Magen David Adom ambulance that took him to the hospital. Still hazy from the operation, Remi added that he hated Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, "who let them [the Palestinians] ruin Sderot's residents' lives." One of Remi's legs is undergoing treatment of the soft tissues, and the other leg is broken and in a cast. The boys' parents and 15-year-old brother all suffered severe emotional trauma and are being treated. Barzilai staffers themselves were traumatized by Osher's suffering, as he was conscious upon arrival at the trauma room and repeatedly screamed "Save me!" while describing his pain.