This Is Who I Am: Tareq Al Saqqa
Rio is my life companion and my best friend.
Rio will always be with me every step of the way.
And I mean that in a literal sense. A life-changing event five years ago is how I met Rio - my prosthetic leg.
I’ve been through so much these past few years. Rio made me face feelings I'd never encountered or even thought about before. Pain, fear, and despair on the one hand. Optimism, faith, and trust in God on the other.
It all started in 2012, when a medical device weighing more than a ton fell on my right leg at work.
Things were quite clear from the start. There was no escaping it.
My leg had to be amputated.
I will never forget the unbearable pain, both physical and psychological, that I had to endure.
I had the operation done in Dubai, and I stayed there for a whole year... not knowing what my future would hold. I kept asking myself, will I ever be able to live a normal life again?
My trust and faith in God never faded. I knew I just needed time to accept everything that's happened. Thankfully, I got the opportunity to have a prosthetic leg in Germany. That's Rio. I soon returned to my favourite country for full recovery, the UAE.
Psychologically, adapting to having a new part of your body is particularly difficult. It really was a struggle to accept it at first, but I recommend to everyone who goes through a similar experience to give their prosthetic a name. It makes adapting much easier.
I want to form an association in the UAE for those who have lost a body part. I want to give them hope and help them get back in to society. My advice to you all: do not allow an accident to stop your life, believe in your strength, and fight for a new life. It isn't the end.
My name is Tarek Abdul Rahim Al-Sakka. I used to be a medical equipment engineer before the accident, and I'm still one today! I've become stronger, happier, and more satisfied with life. My experience gave me serenity, wisdom, and appreciation for life. It really made me a better person!
This is my story. This is who I am.