Liliane Cheaito spent the last two years silently suffering in her hospital bed after the Beirut Blast.
The 28-years-old mother took the American University of Beirut’s Medical Center (AUBMC) as her home ever since the doomed day of August 4th.
Her muffled screams finally broke into one word only a few days before the 2nd anniversary of the Blast: “mama”, a cry for her son Ali, whom she had not seen since the explosion due to a custody dispute with her husband.
Cheaito remains paralyzed chiefly, she affirms by shutting her eyes and turning her bandaged head away slowly in denial. Occasionally, she can wave with her left hand, which is linked to an intravenous drip with a half-dozen drugs.
Cheaito and her family are trapped in Lebanon’s numerous crises: from a collapsed health sector that can no longer treat her, to paralyzed government institutions and money-mongering banks that have frozen her funds along with all the Lebanese funds.
“Liliane represents the agony of the Lebanese people because she’s suffering from all of this,” her older sister Nassma told local media.
Like most Lebanese people, Liliane’s sister asks friends coming from abroad to bring the medications, paying in U.S. dollars that are hard to get as Lebanon’s currency continues to drown.
AUBMC, where Cheaito had been since 2020, informed the family in February that the charity group covering the costs of Cheaito’s hospitalization could no longer afford to do so.
“Those centers are demanding money, and unfortunately we can’t afford it, not even part of it, because our funds are stuck in the banks,” said Nassma.
The banks say the restrictions are imposed by the Lebanese systemic crisis to prevent banking ruins, but critics say they do not apply to the rich and powerful.
Eventually, Cheaito’s suffering is a reflection of the collapse of the whole Lebanese corrupted, drowning system.