Algerian girl travels to Toledo to receive life-changing surgery

5-year-old Ryma needs surgery for her Spina Bifida.

A 5-year-old girl and her parents are far from home.

They have traveled from Algeria to Northwest Ohio so the girl can undergo an important surgery.

It is possible with the help of ISOH/Impact and it is situation that has brought two very different cultures together.

5-year-old Ryma may look healthy but she suffers from Spina Bifida: a mass on her back that is affecting her neurological function and mobility.

The surgery she needs is not available where she is from, so she has come a long way to get it... and the outlook is good.

"She can feel in her legs, she can move her toes and as you've already noticed she's an awesome little girl, she's so sweet and so cute," said Linda Greene, President/CEO of ISOH/Impact.

The hope is that this surgery will change the path of Ryma's life.

"Quality of life will completely change for her," said Greene. "Because we asked the question, was she allowed to go to school and they said no. And she's a bright little girl, she can speak in several different languages--she's learning english now and that will give her an education. She can go to school and grow up and get married--wouldn't that be awesome?"

But this experience is not just changing Ryma's life, it is bringing people from the opposite sides of the world and with different views together.

"We have the Christians and the Muslims mixing together and we're doing great," said Greene. "We're just having a lot of fun and we're laughing and just having a great time."

Ryma will see a neurosurgeon at Mercy Children's Hospital. Her total stay in Northwest Ohio will be 6 to 8 weeks and, of course, there is a cost for ISOH to help the family in this way.

CLICK HERE if you would like to help with the costs of Ryma's surgery and her family's stay.