We used to hear Odile’s name in stories and novels, but the situation in Eastern Ghouta is far from fiction.
Odile is real. She lives in the present day. She is a painful story written by Assad with his weapons and the sieges. She is a young woman in the prime of her life, suffering from the severe conditions in Eastern Ghouta.
She couldn’t bear the loss of her husband, and the death of her brother, shortly after, led to the deterioration of her health. She began to complain of health problems that intensified gradually, then the specialists confirmed the existence of a malignant tumor in Odile’s ovary.
Odile refused to remove the tumor, as she found refuge from grief in it. It grew in size, and soon became so big it was too difficult for doctors to remove it. They tried to give her chemotherapy, but her weak body could not withstand the trauma.
"Her situation became worse after the death of her brother, which followed the death of her husband. She was unimaginably fond of them, and she could not bear the martyrdom of them both at the same time. I tried hard to alleviate her grief and sorrow, her friends and I, but she chose to remain in her shell, indifferent to us, until her health status began to deteriorate sharply. I forced her to see the doctor who recommended a surgery to eradicate the diagnosed tumor in her ovary, but she refused, and cut off the treatment", said Odile's mother.
Medical Director of Dar ar-Rahmeh Cancer Center, Dr. Wissam Mohammed, said, "The suffocating siege caused many diseases that we did not expect to occur, such as a weakened immunity – which is attributable to bad food patterns, in addition to the remnants of conventional weapons, chemical weapons, and weapons that we do not know the regime uses in the bombing of Ghouta – all this in addition to the psychological factor which strongly affects the health status of patients.”
"The most serious disease is cancer, which far exceeded natural proportions, given the number of Ghouta's population before the events. Then we found that the population is much lower if compared to the number of registered cases we have – according to the statistics of Beirouni Tumors Hospital. When we studied the ratios of the center, we found that the numbers have doubled and this is a real disaster", Dr. Mohammed added.
According to the doctor, "the statistics at the center confirm the increase in the number of tumors caused by hormonal changes in the body, such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian and prostate cancers, as well as leukemia. Perhaps the most important cause of hormonal changes is the psychological factor that plays a major role in the incidence of case as well as chances for healing. We have noticed this in many patients, the patient who does not accept the illness, and consequently the treatment, has less of a chance of survival than other patients who confront the disease and cope with it.”
Referring to Odile, the director of the center said, "She came two months ago, complaining of uterine bleeding. The examination with MRI showed a tumor, she was given medication for the bleeding, and she was referred for surgery. But Odile cut off the treatment for two months, and did not undergo surgery, which affected the tumor negatively and it increased its size – from 6 cm to 19 cm with severe ascites and infiltration to the colon and the uterus. She was given an initial dose of Taxol and Cisplatin, but due to her poor general condition, she couldn’t bear the medicine, and died after receiving the first doses of the drug."