Treatment at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford Allows 6-Year-Old Palestinian Boy from West Bank to Walk, Go to School for the First Time

* Hadi Alkhadra will no longer have to crawl, or be carried by his parents

Press Release: June 3, 2014

PALO ALTO, Calif. –


Media are invited Tuesday (June 3) to meet Hadi Alkhadra, a 6-year-old Palestinian boy from the Tulkarem refugee camp in the West Bank, Palestine. Hadi was born with severe arthrogryposis (“stuck joints”) and related orthopaedic deformities, resulting in his feet facing the wrong way, his knees stuck straight, and a life of crawling or else being carried by his parents.

Lawrence Rinsky, MD - Stanford Medicine Children's Health

With assistance from the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund, Hadi and mom Shireen have traveled 7,500 miles to receive care from orthopaedic surgeon Lawrence Rinsky, MD, who has led Hadi’s successful surgeries at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford. Though there is no complete cure, with the assistance of braces and our rehab team, Hadi is now able to wear shoes for the first time, stand with his feet flat, leave his new wheelchair and start walking.

A warm, outgoing and intelligent young man, Hadi has become a big fan of the 49ers, Chuck E. Cheese, and iPads since arriving in the Bay Area last fall. Now, he looks forward to seeing his sister, two brothers and dad when he returns home in late June. Though he will wear lower-leg braces for most activities, including walking, for at least a few years, Hadi will be able to attend school for the first time while planning his dream “to be a surgeon, just like Dr. Rinsky.”

Mom is beyond thankful for this life-changing experience, and she will always be filled with gratitude for the extraordinary care for her extraordinary kid. “All of these people we have met, they have worked so well together to help Hadi,” Shireen said through an interpreter. “This never could have happened without Dr. Rinsky and Stanford.”

“This is a very bright young man,” said Rinsky, who loves all of Hadi’s handmade thank-you cards. “He has a wonderful spirit and is making incredible progress. I think he has a good future ahead of him.”


Tuesday, June 3, 2014
4:30 – 6 p.m.
Stanford Children’s Health Specialty Services
321 Middlefield Rd., Menlo Park, Calif. 94025


  • Patient Hadi Alkhadra
  • Mom Shireen Alkhadra
  • Nuha Shuman of the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund and members of the community (will also provide interpretation of the family’s Arabic)
  • Richard Gee, physical therapy clinical specialist
  • Surgeon Lawrence Rinsky, MD, through a pre-recorded video interview handout and B-roll
  • Several community donors who have contributed to Hadi’s success, including representatives from Hanger Clinic and Numotion


Media contact:
Robert Dicks
(650) 497-8364

About Stanford Medicine Children's Health

Stanford Medicine Children’s Health, with Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford at its center, is the Bay Area’s largest health care system exclusively dedicated to children and expectant mothers. Our network of care includes more than 65 locations across Northern California and more than 85 locations in the U.S. Western region. Along with Stanford Health Care and the Stanford School of Medicine, we are part of Stanford Medicine, an ecosystem harnessing the potential of biomedicine through collaborative research, education, and clinical care to improve health outcomes around the world. We are a nonprofit organization committed to supporting the community through meaningful outreach programs and services and providing necessary medical care to families, regardless of their ability to pay. Discover more at