Blind Iraqi boy living in Snohomish has 2nd surgery

SEATTLE — Muhammed “Hamoody” Jauda, an Iraqi boy brought here for medical treatment, on Tuesday received his second reconstructive surgery to reduce the disfiguring scars on his face.

“Everything went well,” said Dr. Joseph Gruss at Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center in Seattle.

Hamoody, 5, is scheduled to return to his Snohomish home today. As he grows, the blind boy will probably need more surgery to make his face look normal, the doctor said.

It depends on whether he can stay in America. His visa is set to expire in May and can’t be extended, his foster parents, Randy and Julie Robinett Smith, said. The Smiths have opened their Snohomish home to Hamoody since May 2006. They now hope to become his legal guardians to raise the boy.

“We hope he would go to college, get a great job, get married and have a family,” Julie Robinett Smith said. “That’s our goal. There’s no reason he can’t do that.”

Her biggest fear is that he would have to go back to war-torn Iraq. The blind boy will not have much of a chance there, Smith said.

She plans to have an immigration attorney file paperwork on behalf of Hamoody so that the boy can make a case for asylum and stay in Snohomish, Smith said. The process may take a few years, but Hamoody will be able to stay with the Smiths while the petition is pending.

Hamoody was brought from Baghdad to Snohomish by Healing the Children, a Spokane-based international nonprofit group, in 2006 to receive medical treatment.

Rebecca Snyders, executive director of the group’s Oregon and Western chapter, said that the group expects Hamoody will be sent back to Iraq this summer, but it won’t stop the Smiths from trying to keep him in Snohomish.

Julie Robinett Smith said she just wants what’s best for Hamoody and his family.

“We do love his family,” she said. “We love them because of their child.”

Hamoody has come a long way to recover from his injuries.

The Shiite boy was shot in the face by Sunni insurgents in May 2005. His right eye was shot out. His left eye was blinded. The insurgents killed his uncle, shot his mother in the head and spine, and shot his cousin in the leg. Only his sister escaped the attack without injury.

After arriving in Snohomish, Hamoody received a series of checkups and examinations. Doctors determined that he will not regain his sight.

Nonetheless, doctors donated their time giving the boy reconstructive surgery in May 2007. They removed scar tissue from Hamoody’s face and took four inches of his rib to rebuild his right eye socket and nose. The operation aimed to improve the symmetry of his face and ease his breathing.

Hamoody knows he looks different from others, Julie Robinett Smith said. One day, an adult walked up to them and asked what happened to his face.

Hamoody asked Smith: “Why isn’t my face like yours?”

Reporter Yoshiaki Nohara: 425-339-3029 or ynohara@heraldnet.com.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Traffic idles while waiting for the lights to change along 33rd Avenue West on Tuesday, April 2, 2024 in Lynnwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Lynnwood seeks solutions to Costco traffic boondoggle

Let’s take a look at the troublesome intersection of 33rd Avenue W and 30th Place W, as Lynnwood weighs options for better traffic flow.

A memorial with small gifts surrounded a utility pole with a photograph of Ariel Garcia at the corner of Alpine Drive and Vesper Drive ion Wednesday, April 10, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Death of Everett boy, 4, spurs questions over lack of Amber Alert

Local police and court authorities were reluctant to address some key questions, when asked by a Daily Herald reporter this week.

The new Amazon fulfillment center under construction along 172nd Street NE in Arlington, just south of Arlington Municipal Airport. (Chuck Taylor / The Herald) 20210708
Frito-Lay leases massive building at Marysville business park

The company will move next door to Tesla and occupy a 300,0000-square-foot building at the Marysville business park.

A voter turns in a ballot on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024, outside the Snohomish County Courthouse in Everett, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
On fourth try, Arlington Heights voters overwhelmingly pass fire levy

Meanwhile, in another ballot that gave North County voters deja vu, Lakewood voters appeared to pass two levies for school funding.

In this Jan. 4, 2019 photo, workers and other officials gather outside the Sky Valley Education Center school in Monroe, Wash., before going inside to collect samples for testing. The samples were tested for PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, as well as dioxins and furans. A lawsuit filed on behalf of several families and teachers claims that officials failed to adequately respond to PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, in the school. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Judge halves $784M for women exposed to Monsanto chemicals at Monroe school

Monsanto lawyers argued “arbitrary and excessive” damages in the Sky Valley Education Center case “cannot withstand constitutional scrutiny.”

Mukilteo Police Chief Andy Illyn and the graphic he created. He is currently attending the 10-week FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. (Photo provided by Andy Illyn)
Help wanted: Unicorns for ‘pure magic’ career with Mukilteo police

“There’s a whole population who would be amazing police officers” but never considered it, the police chief said.

Officers respond to a ferry traffic disturbance Tuesday after a woman in a motorhome threatened to drive off the dock, authorities said. (Photo provided by Mukilteo Police Department)
Everett woman disrupts ferry, threatens to drive motorhome into water

Police arrested the woman at the Mukilteo ferry terminal Tuesday morning after using pepper-ball rounds to get her out.

Bothell
Man gets 75 years for terrorizing exes in Bothell, Mukilteo

In 2021, Joseph Sims broke into his ex-girlfriend’s home in Bothell and assaulted her. He went on a crime spree from there.

Allan and Frances Peterson, a woodworker and artist respectively, stand in the door of the old horse stable they turned into Milkwood on Sunday, March 31, 2024, in Index, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Old horse stall in Index is mini art gallery in the boonies

Frances and Allan Peterson showcase their art. And where else you can buy a souvenir Index pillow or dish towel?

Providence Hospital in Everett at sunset Monday night on December 11, 2017. Officials Providence St. Joseph Health Ascension Health reportedly are discussing a merger that would create a chain of hospitals, including Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, plus clinics and medical care centers in 26 states spanning both coasts. (Kevin Clark / The Daily Herald)
Providence to pay $200M for illegal timekeeping and break practices

One of the lead plaintiffs in the “enormous” class-action lawsuit was Naomi Bennett, of Providence Regional Medical Center Everett.

Dorothy Crossman rides up on her bike to turn in her ballot  on Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Voters to decide on levies for Arlington fire, Lakewood schools

On Tuesday, a fire district tries for the fourth time to pass a levy and a school district makes a change two months after failing.

Everett
Red Robin to pay $600K for harassment at Everett location

A consent decree approved Friday settles sexual harassment and retaliation claims by four victims against the restaurant chain.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.