An Iraqi boy whose face was set on fire seven years ago is finding reasons to smile here in East Tennessee. 8-29-14
(WBIR-New Tazewell) An Iraqi boy, whose face was set on fire seven years ago, is finding reasons to smile in East Tennessee.
In 2007 men attacked Yousuf, then four-years-old, outside his home in Baghdad.
"There's a lot of war. So then bad people came and put gas and then set me on fire," Yousuf said.
His family asked 10News not to use their last name for safety reasons.
After his story aired on CNN, the Children's Burn Foundation arranged Yousuf's medical care, transportation and housing in California. CNN has done several follow-up stories on the 11-year-old since 2007.
Two years ago, a Claiborne County couple saw one of the stories.
"We saw a news story on Yousuf and learned about his childhood and what he had been through. Seeing that segment and seeing the father... when they asked him what was the hardest thing and he said he never sees his kid smile anymore, and right then the first thought to my head was that's about to change. And it did," said David Webb.
Webb and his wife, Lynn Webb, own Best Freaking Golf-Lake Trip out on Norris Lake in New Tazewell. Every year, they pick a person or family to give an all-expense-paid vacation to.
Webb said they have been working on getting the family here for the past two years.
"Me and my brother and sister were excited. We couldn't even wait," Yousuf said.
Yousuf's father works two jobs and there is little money left for vacations.
The family arrived from California to the lake house on Wednesday and will stay through Labor Day. It was Yousuf's first time out on the lake and driving a boat. He will turn 12 years old during the vacation.
According to Yousuf, his next facial reconstructive surgery will happen when he is 13 years old.
"It can be hard at some points and good," he said, about the recovery process.