Noora Afif Abdulhameed sits quietly next to her papa in a waiting room at Maine Medical Center, waiting to be called in for her first pre-operative test.
She’d slept in until 7 on this Tuesday morning in July, so breakfast was just a little milk from the hospital cafeteria. Now she’s waiting for some cream applied to the backs of her hands to numb her skin so that a routine IV may be inserted.
The 6-year-old was scheduled for a CT scan at 8:30 a.m. to give doctors a better picture of damage to her skull, which was partially shattered by an American sniper’s bullet on Oct. 23, 2006, in her hometown of Heet, Iraq.
Noora seems cheerful – she had spoken to other members of her family in Iraq on the phone the night before – but a bit nervous.
“It’s stirring up old memories for her, I think, but Afif convinced her it’s not an operation,” says Susi Eggenberger. The Arundel resident and her husband helped bring Noora and her father, Afif Abdulhameed Otaiwi, to Portland for surgery to repair Noora’s head, and are guiding them through their stay.