ELAZIG, Turkey — “This is my little hero,” the surgeon said, showing off a photo of a baby drinking from a bottle, her head heavily bandaged.

The picture was no family snapshot, but a memento of one of the youngest patients Dr. Omar Ibrahim, a 32-year-old Egyptian neurosurgeon, had saved during six years volunteering in the war in Syria.

Six-month-old Fatima had arrived at his field hospital in the besieged city of Aleppo comatose and in spasm, with a shrapnel injury to her brain, he said. “It was my first time to do this type of operation,” he recalled. “It was just me. I was nervous. What if she died…



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