About a month ago I wrote a short post on the plight of young Yousiff, the five-year old Iraqi child who was disfigured when masked men grabbed him outside of his home in central Baghdad, doused him with gasoline, and set him on fire.
"They dumped gasoline, burned me, and ran," Youssif told CNN, pointing down the street with his scarred hands where his attackers fled.
As he sucked his thumb, he repeated, "I was burning." He tried to put the flames out himself.
Yousiff's story touched a lot of hearts, and America responded with individual donations of support to help bring Yousiff to the United States for treatment. In addition, surgery was arranged at no charge to Yousiff's family.
The Children's Burn Foundation -- a non-profit organization based out of Sherman Oaks, California, that provides support for burn victims locally, nationally and internationally -- has agreed to pay for the transportation for Youssif and his family to come to the United States and to set up a fund so you can donate.
The foundation says it will cover all medical costs -- from surgeries for Youssif to housing costs to any social rehabilitation that might be needed for him. Surgeries will be performed by Dr. Peter Grossman, a plastic surgeon with the affiliated-Grossman Burn Center who is donating his services for Youssif's cause.
Yesterday Yousiff arrived in the United States.
For a family whose lives were tortured by the random and brutal violence of Iraq, the sheer magnitude of stepping onto American soil was surreal. His parents were rendered speechless. Quite simply they grinned from ear to ear. They didn't need to speak. The joy on their faces was palpable.
They had traveled more than 7,500 miles to get help for their son, from war-torn central Baghdad to coastal Los Angeles. It marked the first time the family had ever left their homeland, let alone flown on a plane.
"Oh my God, it's so green. Am I in heaven?" Youssif's mother, Zainab, said after arriving in Chicago before the family flew on to Los Angeles where Youssif will be treated.
"I feel like I'm in a dream," said his father, whom CNN has agreed not to name. "Someone needs to pinch me."
The family left Amman, Jordan, early Tuesday en route to the United States. The night before they departed, Youssif didn't sleep a wink. He woke the family up extra early, shouting, "Let's go! Let's go!"
The road through surgery and recovery is a long one for young Yousiff, but with that kind of spirit you know it's a journey he'll make successfully. I'll watch for further updates from CNN and post them when available.
Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!