I just finished reading A Brave Face by Barbara Marlowe and Teeba Furat Marlowe. It was a beautiful story about many people working together to help an injured little girl.
*Disclosure: I received this book for free as part of The Book Look Bloggers book review program. I am not required to write a positive review, all opinions are my own.
When Teeba, an Iraqi, was a toddler she was badly burned by a roadside bomb that killed her brother. Through a miracle, an American woman, Barbara Marlowe sees her photo and falls in love with this little girl. She reads about her and learns she wants a wig because her hair no longer grows from all the scarring on her head. Barbara happens to be involved with a charity that provides wigs for children so she decides to help grant her wish.
From that wish everything spirals and Teeba ends up moving to the US to have proper care for all her injuries. To do this, she has to leave her parents and siblings behind in Iraq. It breaks her mother’s heart, but she lets her go because she knows it is for the best. Barbara and her husband become Teeba’s second family and she even calls them mom and dad .These reconstructive surgeries take many years to complete because it is a slow process. A balloon is placed under her skin on her neck and one on her back then fluid is added weekly to extend it so she can grow new skin to be used for grafting. She has been here over 10 years and the work is still not completed.
This memoir is a combined effort of Barbara, Teeba and Teeba’s mother. It is interesting to read what each one’s thoughts were as all this was happening. I admire her mother ( and father too) for letting her go because it was best for her. They were finally able to all meet again 9 years later for a week-long visit in Dubhai. Teeba’s father was unable to get permission to join them because he is in the Iraqi army.
All the acts of kindness and efforts to help Teeba helps restore my faith in humanity. Her surgeries are covered by a special group. Disney treats her to a free princess makeover, people help translate, etc. And now Teeba speaks to other children that have burns to help them so she is paying it forward. Such an inspirational story.