'Alen is awake': Mosque survivor, 4, has brain damage

Author
NZ Herald,
Section
National,
Publish Date
Friday, 12 April 2019, 8:52AM

The father of a four-year-old girl who survived the mosque shooting has revealed she has woken from a coma - and her critical injuries include brain damage.

However, Wasseim Alsati says a prognosis on exactly what it means for his daughter, Alen, could take up to six months.

She is recovering in Auckland Starship Hospital with her father and family.

The father and daughter both suffered multiple gunshot injuries at the Al Noor mosque on March 15. Fifty people died in the attacks on two mosques.

Speaking from his hospital bed, an exhausted Alsati created a Facebook video to thank everyone for their well wishes and to provide an update on the pair.

"My daughter Alen wake up five days ago and she's had a lot of surgeries ... seven to eight surgeries. She has brain damage at the moment and the doctor has told us they need four to six months to know how bad the damage is," he said.

"My daughter wake up and she doesn't know us and she cannot see us and she cannot hear us at all. I don't know if my daughter is cold or warm or if my daughter is replying back to me at all but we're all waiting."

Wasseim Alsati remains in hospital in Auckland. Image / Facebook
Wasseim Alsati remains in hospital in Auckland. Image / Facebook

He urged everyone to continue to pray for them both.

"We need that. And thank you for being beside us, guys. I cannot wait till we all feel better ... I miss everybody."

A Givealittle page has also been set up for the family as Alsati recovers from gunshot wounds to his hip.

He is currently unable to walk but is expecting to fully recover.

Despite suffering brain damage, the Givealittle page states that Alen is making daily progress, but could not currently speak or see people.

"She has begun so say the odd word and recognises her mother's voice," he said.

"It's going to be a long time for me to walk, but eventually I will walk.

"I'm up here in Auckland, thanking everybody, the doctors in the hospital, everybody, and of course our prime minister ... for all the help and support you have provided for me and for my family and for keeping my family here for support.

"I love you all guys and respect you all guys, thank you very much."

'I remember everything about that day'

The pair were at the entrance to the Al Noor mosque when Alsati saw a man holding a gun.

"I remember everything about that day. I thought the man was in the New Zealand military that's why I was walking close to him. I didn't run away from him," Alsati previously told the Herald.

"I was walking to the prayer door. He was wearing a military uniform. I looked at his eyes and as soon as he saw me he loaded his automatic gun and then he pointed it at my daughter's face - it was then I realised he was not in the New Zealand military," he said from his hospital bed last month.

"By the time I pulled my daughter away he hit her with two bullets - one in her back, bum up to her tummy," said the father-of–four.

Alsati, a barber, has had surgery to remove "shrapnel and bone out of his hip socket" and surgery for a "perforated bowel and an injury to his pelvis".

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