London (CNN)A teenager who was paralyzed in an airstrike near his home outside the Syrian city of Homs in 2013 has arrived in the UK for life-changing medical treatment.
Najib Ali, 14, will receive vital reconstructive surgery at London's Great Ormond Street Hospital Thursday, after being sponsored by the charity Goodwill Caravan.
The boy was unable to walk after shrapnel from the attack pierced his back and lodged in his spine, perforating his lungs and leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. He was also told that unless critical surgery went ahead, his kidneys would fail.
Najib was initially declared dead following the strike, but his mother detected a light heartbeat when touching her son's ankle for what she thought was the last time, according to Goodwill Caravan.