When the Indian Ocean tsunami crashed ashore on December 26, 2004, many things were lost. Homes were swept away, belongings gone forever. Hundreds of thousands of people lost their lives in the disaster. And many of those who survived, including children, literally lost a part of themselves.
Seven-year-old Tara Aulia and 11-year-old Hamdani survived the tsunami that ripped through their villages in Indonesia's Aceh province, but along with their homes and family members, both children lost a limb.
Despite the horrors Tara and Hamdani experienced and the steep odds they faced at obtaining proper medical care, they had reason to celebrate less than a year later. Both children were given a new start and new prosthetics at Shriners Hospitals for Children - Philadelphia.
Tara, whose right leg had to be amputated when it became infected from an injury sustained during the tsunami, immediately adjusted to her prosthesis.
"It's wonderful to see a child adapt as well as she has so quickly," said Jeff Eichhorn, director of orthotics and prosthetics at the Philadelphia hospital. "She will be able to do anything."
Hamdani was playing soccer when the tsunami swept him away. He grabbed onto a boat, and as he clung for his life with his left arm, an uprooted tree surged past, severing his right arm above the elbow.
Tara and Hamdani came to the Philadelphia hospital through the Global Medical Relief Fund, a charitable organization that provides transportation to the United States and housing to children injured by war, natural disaster or illness.
With the help of Shriners Hospitals, which, as always, provided all services at no charge to the children or their families, Tara and Hamdani have been given a new start.
"Without this help, I don't know what she would do, how she would live," said Tara's father, Sulaiman Aulia.