Also moved in advance as b0759 For Now, Her Home Is a Hospital With AM-Lost Children
Jul. 16, 1994
KRAPINSKE TOPLICE, Croatia (AP) _ Adisa Muratagic, 10, has lived in a hospital ward since March.
Her left arm, shattered by a sniper's bullet on New Year's Eve in Bosnia, is well now, but she can't go home because her mother has vanished.
Adisa's father, a Muslim, died years before war began in Bosnia in spring 1992. She and her mother, a Croat, lived in Mostar, a town devastated by Muslim-Croat fighting last year.
On the day she was shot, Adisa was evacuated by helicopter.
''Mum came that day to see me and joke with me,'' Adisa said. ''She didn't know I was going to be taken out.''
She got occasional telephone calls from her mother at a Zagreb hospital over the next three months. But since she was moved north to this recovery spa, Adisa said, there has been ''not a word from her.''
Adisa is one of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of children orphaned at least temporarily by Bosnia's war, in which more than 200,000 people are dead or missing.
Like so many others, she puts on a brave face. When she is not in the hospital school or doing exercises, Adisa pushes the wheelchair of her best friend, Sabina Bulic, 8, a Muslim from Mostar who was virtually paralyzed by shrapnel that pierced her spine Dec. 6.
The girls joke, giggle and share Sabina's Walkman, one earphone apiece.
Sabina has begun to move her fingers and learn to walk again. To help her recovery, she has something Adisa lacks: Her parents telephone every week from Mostar, and relatives bring her audio tapes and clothes.
Adisa's only visitors are local Croats working for refugee agencies.
Unaccompanied Children In Exile, based in Zagreb, said messages about Adisa's move may not have reached her mother, or Mrs. Muratagic may have been evacuated from Mostar.
A note Adisa sent was simple: ''Mama, I'm fine. Please call.''