Healing a few of war's wounds Bosnian refugee here for surgery

March 05, 1993|By Monica Norton | Monica Norton,Staff Writer

Bosnian refugee Abid Kadric gingerly stepped out of his host family's car yesterday, into the bright lights of flashing cameras and the waiting arms of the staff of the Anne Arundel Medical Center.

Leaning on a gray walking stick, Mr. Kadric appeared overwhelmed by his new-found celebrity status. He nodded politely, almost shyly, to the crowd holding the "Dobro Dosli Abidu U Anne Arundel Medicinski Centar" welcoming sign.

Mr. Kadric was seated in a wheelchair and rolled into the medical center, the place he'll call home for at least a week.

Mr. Kadric, 39, was wounded last May in fighting in the former Yugoslavia. He received a gunshot wound to his left foot and an open fracture of the left heel, and has been unable to walk without canes.

The former construction worker came to the medical center through the International Organization for Migration, which has helped refugees around the world for more than 40 years.

The organization placed a small advertisement in the Orthopedics Overseas newsletter asking doctors to provide pro bono treatment for patients in need of special care. An Annapolis orthopedic surgeon, Allen Egloff, saw the advertisement and offered his assistance.

Mr. Kadric, holding a bouquet of red and white carnations held together by a red, white and blue ribbon, quietly answered questions from a room full of reporters.

When asked about his trip to the United States, Mr. Kadric said he flew from Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, to Germany to the United States. His host family picked him up at National Airport around 10:30 a.m. yesterday.

"It was a good flight. It was comfortable," he said through his interpreter, Miriam, who asked that her last name not be used. She and her husband, Mladn, are Mr. Kadric's host family and want to retain as much privacy as possible, she said.

Mr. Kadric said he was wounded defending his town. "I took a shot from a sniper," he said.

The situation in Modrica, Mr. Kadric's hometown, has improved slightly, he said. His wife and three children are safe and living in Croatia.

But when Mr. Kadric talked of his hometown, he became visibly emotional.

"It's on a river in Bosnia," he said. "It's well known for fruit production." Then, his bottom lip began trembling and his eyes began tearing up. "It was well developed, and now it's gone."

Mr. Kadric said he will go back to Bosnia after he recovers. "The future should be better, it should be better," he said almost wistfully.

Looking tired after more than a day's flight, Mr. Kadric was wheeled away to his room, smiling lightly and thanking his host.

Dr. Egloff, who will perform Mr. Kadric's surgery, said he does not know how soon the surgery will take place, or what type of surgery Mr. Kadric may need.

"We have to evaluate and see what the extent of his injuries are and plan out a course of treatment," Dr. Egloff said. "We know very little about him or his injury."

But the doctor said he does not believe Mr. Kadric will have a long stay at the medical center.

l "Most of the things that are done on the lower extremities, you can recover at home," he said. "Our job is to try and get him back walking."

Mladn said he and his wife would try to do what they can to make Mr. Kadric's recovery in their home as comfortable as possible. The decision to serve as Mr. Kadric's host family was not a difficult one, Mladn said.

Another Croatian-American in the Annapolis area explained Mr. Kadric's situation to them, Mladn said, and the couple saw a need that had to be filled.

"We're not far from the hospital," he said. "We both have family back [in Bosnia]. We're obviously the best choice for this. We just hope we can send him back to peace."

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