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Jason Bellini: Iraqi boy faces long recovery

Offers from around the world have poured in to help Ali.
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A boy who has come to symbolize the civilian suffering of the war in Iraq is now in Kuwait. Jason Bellini has the story of Ali Ismail Abbas Hamza.
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KUWAIT CITY (CNN) -- A 12-year-old Iraqi boy, who lost both of his arms, his parents, brother and seven other family members in a coalition bombing raid near Baghdad, arrived early Wednesday at a hospital in Kuwait City.

Ali Ismail Abbas Hamza, his plight known around the world, has come to symbolize the cost of the war in Iraq. He was taken to Ibn Sina Hospital in Kuwait City, covered by a blanket and wearing a green surgical cap.

CNN correspondent Jason Bellini discussed the boy's prognosis Wednesday with CNN's Paula Zahn.

BELLINI: Young Ali, we're told by his doctors a few moments ago, is resting in his hospital bed after the first of what will be many surgical operations over the next days, weeks and probably months.

Before doctors can tend to his primary concern, which is the loss of both of his arms, they have to treat the life-threatening burns over 15 percent of his body -- primarily in his abdomen area.

In the first procedure, they shaved off the burned flesh, going beneath the skin, and applied a biological dressing, grafting skin onto his burns from other patients.

Last night, Ali arrived at this hospital because the ministry in Kuwait said he would die if he did not receive specialist treatment right away. He arrived with his uncle by ambulance after being flown in by a U.S. helicopter from Nasiriya.

ZAHN: So what is the prognosis?

BELLINI: Well, the doctor said that he believes Ali will survive and that doctors will be successful staving off infections, that he made it in time, and that they will be able to provide him with prosthetic limbs. They also expect they will get help from around the world to get him the very best of prosthetic limbs, the most sophisticated -- limbs that aren't available in Kuwait City.


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