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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

Update on Ali Abbas' Condition

Aired May 13, 2003 - 20:43   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: There was a story of hope out of Kuwait this morning about a 12-year-old boy who got out of his hospital bed for a few minutes. Many of you remember Ali Abbas, the young boy who lost most of his family and both of his arms in a coalition bombing of Iraq. Well, he's been recovering in a Kuwaiti hospital since the middle of last month, and as ITN's Philip Ray Smith reports, Ali is being released from intensive care and is looking now to the future.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PHILIP RAY SMITH, ITN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): His recovery has been hard, but this moment, filmed by his doctors a week ago, was probably when Ali received his biggest boost. An expert in artificial limbs showed him how he might one day have arms that work. With Ali watching intently, they demonstrated what the prosthetic limbs can do, writing his name on the bed sheets.

And then a question typical of a 12-year-old, is it strong? It can certainly pinch. And so today Ali was out of intensive care and out of bed for the first time since the Baghdad bombing raid that killed his immediately family and left him with 35 percent burns and both arms amputated.

(on camera): How are you feeling today?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's very happy.

SMITH: And so when you get your artificial limbs, what would your dream be?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To drive a car. He's wanting to drive a car when he's grown up.

The peak he reached when he saw that (UNINTELLIGIBLE) association that came and showed him the artificial limb is really here. And this moment, he feels there is a hope for his life.

SMITH: Well, Ali's back in bed now after a big day. Nobody really expected to see him out and about so soon, but he's made it, and based on what I have seen today of his fighting spirit and his determination, I have no doubt that he'll make it in his dreams of going back to school, and indeed, of driving a car.

(voice-over): Philip Ray Smith, ITV News, at the Al-babson (ph) hospital, Kuwait City. (END VIDEOTAPE)

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