A teenage girl from Iraq, receiving medical treatment in Sacramento,
may be forced to return home to an ISIS-occupied village because her
temporary visa is set to expire.
Soyana Isaac Israel, 17, and her mom are in Northern
California to fix a botched childhood leg surgery performed by a doctor
in Northern Iraq, which left the girl in a wheelchair.
Through an interpreter, Shimshon Antal, Israel said, "I thank very much all the doctors and all the people who brought us here."
the help of the Assyrian Medical Society, she's undergone three
surgeries at Shriners Hospital. The final surgery is planned for
November, but once therapy ends, so will her time in the U.S.
"I am afraid to go back," Israel said.
If she returns home, she believes her life will be in danger.
entire family is Assyrian Christian, and the family's church has been
burned to the ground. The relatives fled north of the village and are
living in a church basement.
It's emotional for her mom,
because considering the teen's age and beauty, she would be a commodity
for ISIS to kidnap and sell at a higher price.
As the family works through the legal system to seek asylum, it continues to pray for help and support from the government.
"She's very thankful to be in the United States and she's begging anybody who can help them stay here," Antal said.
There's no word on if her father and four sisters would be allowed to leave Iraq.
The Assyrian Medical Society relies heavily on donations to help children get the medical treatment they need.