Saudi doctors were shocked when they saw a six-week-old baby admitted to hospital with a badly swollen head, bleeding eyes, fractured legs and pelvis, and bruises all over his tiny body.
Their shock turned into horror when they later learned that his father had done all this to his own baby.
The father brought his baby to hospital in the western Red Sea port of Jeddah in mid 2010 and claimed that he fell down. But suspicious doctors later found out the painful truth—his father had been torturing the infant, Abdullah, who they believe will never fully recover and would become a handicapped person.
The unnamed father is now facing the strong arm of the law, which has already approved a request by his wife to be divorced from him and to take the baby.
“I discovered that he started to torture his own baby just a week after he was born…I woke up one day and noticed that Abdullah had a swollen eye and bruises on his arms and body…when I asked my husband, he said that the baby had fallen down….a few days later, I saw more bruises on him and his father was putting ice on his body…when I asked him why, he said the baby had high temperature,” the wife said, quoted by the Saudi Arabic language daily Alwatan.
“I believed him because he is his father…I had not thought that he could do this to him until I saw how confused he was when he was interrogated at the hospital…I had not imagined that a father could hurt his own baby and treat him with such cruelty…it was until I saw him punching the baby’s head and eyes and beating him so cruelly that he broke his pelvis and legs….he then beat me up when I yelled at him and threatened to kill me if I tell the police.”
Describing Abdullah’s condition when he was admitted to hospital aged six weeks, the paper said his body was bruised, his legs and pelvis were broken, his eyes were bleeding, and his head was badly swollen.
It quoted doctors as saying Abdullah would partly recover from his bruises and fractures but could live his life as a handicapped person.
“Abdullah was brought to hospital unconscious, with his head, chest and other parts of his body covered with bruises…his left eye was badly swollen and bleeding while an x-ray revealed a trauma in his little brain…doctors had to rush him to the operation room and extract part of the brain to save his life.”
The paper quoted Dr Sara Abed, an obstetrics consultant at King Abdul Aziz Medical City in Jeddah, as saying Abdullah is suffering from what she described as a severe traumatic condition and physical damage, adding that his condition is “the worst case and highest degree of child violence.”
“We have performed some operations on him to save his life…his condition has now stabilized but I think he would never have a chance to be a normal boy…he is now suffering from convulsions, delayed growth and partial paralysis. Abdullah will very likely suffer from a permanent handicap and could also have problems involving a delay in his intelligence,” she said.
Soon after the father confessed to torturing Abdullah, his wife filed for a divorce at the Jeddah court, which the paper said quickly approved her request.
“I had suffered from the behavior of this man for a long time but I kept praying to God to guide him to the right way…when I got pregnant, I thought he would change but his treatment of me became worse,” she said.
“I told my family about him and they advised me to file for a divorce…I have now dropped my personal case against him for beating me up just to get rid of him…I no longer trust him as he poses a threat to me and to my child’s life….today, Abdullah lives with me but he has a lot of appointments with the doctors….they are not very optimistic about his future but I keep praying that he will recover.”