Iraqi Boy Returns Home

An Iraqi boy who came to the panhandle with the dream of walking on his own once again is headed home tonight.

Just over two months after Fakar al Zamali and his father arrived here they begin the long journey home with hope for the future.

Members of the First United Methodist Church in Canyon helped bring the al Zamalis here and after only one surgery Fakar was able to walk with the help of a leg brace.

Jeff Burnhart is with the Soncy Surgery Center, where Fakar recieved his surgery. He told Newschannel0's Tina Berasley "When he arrived here on September ninth his dad basically carried him to a wheechair, he had no function in that leg at all...I think if the doctors had their way they would keep him a little bit longer but we don't have that time frame to work with".

Fakar and his father could only stay in the U.S. for a short time, and after several good-bye parties and prayer sessions this week the pair said their final goodbye.

With the help of a translator Abbas al Zamali said de's very excited to go back home to see his wife and his mom and his kids, but at the same time he is very sad to leave a family that he has established in Amarillo and Canyon.

At the airport today,  Fakar's new friends said his visit brought the whole community closer together, from the medical team who did all the surgery and physical therapy for free, to the church members themselves.

Barnhart added "This is a bittersweet time, ya know? I'm sure that it was hard for them to let him go in September and now its kinda hard for us to let him go back to his family. The cool thing about this is he's gonna get to walk to his mom now. So that made it all worth it".

The al Zamali's hope to return home late Sunday after a trip through Dallas, Chicago, Jordan and Kuwait City into Basra, Iraq.