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Dr. Ali Darwish

On March 27, 2017 a barrel bomb with a chemical agent hit the front entrance of the Latamneh Hospital in Hama and killed Dr. Ali Darwish, a specialist orthopedic surgeon, while he was operating. Dr. Darwish, aware of the gas that had entered, refused to leave his patient and continued operating until he fell unconscious and succumbed to pulmonary edema. He paid this price to save the life of another. Dr. Ali Darwish was one of two orthopedic surgeons serving northern Hama province.

Date of death: 03/25/2017 (40 years old)

Dr. Ali Ahmad Al-Darwish was born on 4 February 1977 in Kafr Zeita, north of Hama. Father of three, he was also the only family support to his sister and her children following the death of her husband.

Graduated in Aleppo University, he had specialized in orthopedic surgery at the Hama National Hospital and had worked in several medical facilities such as Kafr-Zeita specialized hospital and Al-Wissam Hospital.

After the death of Dr. Ali Al-Darwish, the medical situation in Hama, particularly in the north, continued to deteriorate. Aerial strikes intensified and a large number of hospitals were put out of service.

Conditions of the death:

At 2 p.m. in Lathamneh, north of Hama, a helicopter flew over the hospital of the city and drop a barrel bomb with a chemical agent. At that moment, Dr. Ali Al-Darwish, with his assistant and an anesthetist, were in the operating room.

Chlorine gas spread throughout the rooms of the underground hospital, lacking  a suitable ventilation system, caused the gas to affect all the medical staff.  Aware of the danger, Dr. Ali Ahmad Al-Darwish refused to leave his patient.

“He refused to leave so he could save the patient”  said Abadah al-Mansour, the hospital’s spokesman.

The Doctor, a victim of the toxic gas, falls unconscious. He was transferred to the nearest hospital and died of pulmonary edema.

“Without Doctor Ali, there is now only one surgeon, and he can’t meet the need” said the Hama Health Directorate head.

“It is a repulsive act to target the most vulnerable people, patients in a hospital, with chemical weapons. Dr. Darwish is a true hero and we offer our deepest condolences to his family. His courage and commitment is consistent with all the healthcare workers in Syria who risk their lives every day to serve patients”. Dr Ziad Alissa, UOSSM doctor