Injured Iraqi boy needs 4 surgeries on LI

Zeenabdeen Hadi, with the help of Elissa Montanti,

Zeenabdeen Hadi, with the help of Elissa Montanti, blows out candles as he celebrates his 4th birthday during a press conference at the Long Island Plastic Surgical Group. (April 27, 2011) (Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

An Iraqi boy being cared for by Long Island doctors for severe scarring resulting from a car bomb will require at least four surgeries during the next six months, a doctor said Wednesday.

Zeenabdeen Hadi, 4, will receive bone and skin grafts, oral reconstruction and other procedures totaling about $250,000, said Dr. Kaveh Alizadeh, president of Long Island Plastic Surgical Group, a Garden City practice that will perform the surgeries.

The cost will be covered in part by Mission Restore, a nonprofit organization formed by Long Island Plastic Surgical.

The child was about 11 months old when he was injured in Dujail, his hometown north of Baghdad. An explosion sent 220-volt wires down onto his house.

His injuries were so extensive that Iraqi doctors initially suggested it might be better to let him die, said the child's uncle.

Although American doctors were able to treat his wounds, severe scarring has made it difficult for him to eat, talk or breathe normally. He also has a potentially dangerous gap in the bones of his skull.

His uncle appealed to a Staten Island woman, Elissa Montanti, whose Global Medical Relief Fund charity persuaded Alizadeh to help and arranged for the child's trip from Iraq.

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