Mutaz Mohamed doesn't remember much after the Molotov cocktail exploded on him.

"All I remember is feeling the fire all over me and some students trying to remove my clothes to put it out," he said in Arabic, using his hands to demonstrate how his classmates were trying to help him.

Four years ago, Mr. Mohamed was a Sudanese university student majoring in business administration when police and students began to clash in a university campus in Omdurman. The Molotov cocktail - which he said was thrown by police - left third-degree burns on his right arm, body, neck and side of his face.

Chattanooga plastic and reconstructive surgeon J. Woody Kennedy M.D., with The Plastic Surgery Group, recently met with Mr. Mohamed to discuss the possibilities of surgery that will help him regain some neck and arm movement.

"He had some third-degree burns on the neck, chest and arms, some of them being quite deep," Dr. Kennedy said. "Currently, he has limited motion in his neck and extremities, some pain when he moves and occasional skin breakdowns."

When Mr. Mohamed resettled in Chattanooga in February, he thought he would immediately receive medical care and continue with his studies. But it hasn't been that easy.

"If I can't work, I can't support myself, and if I can't support myself I can't get medical care," said the 35-year-old Sudanese refugee through an interpreter.

He worked for one day at the Pilgrim's Pride chicken processing plant, lifting chickens, but because he has limited mobility on his right side, he couldn't do the work fast enough and was let go.

"(The accident) changed a lot of my life," Mr. Mohamed said, sitting inside his apartment, sparsely decorated except for a blue vase with artificial flowers in the living room. "I was going to finish my school and everything came down."

Dr. Kennedy, together with Erlanger hospital and the University of Tennessee College of Medicine Chattanooga, will assist Mr. Mohamed with the surgery, but they are still looking to form a team of physicians and put in place anesthesia and rehabilitation services.

"Physician services is taken care of, we will do whatever we need to do to get him in as good condition as possible to lead a productive life," said Dr. Kennedy, who has also been on mission trips to Africa to operate on burn victims.

Although, he added, "we are more than happy to get any help we can."

In 2005, Mr. Mohamed, one of 11 children and the first to go to a university, lost everything he had worked for. He was in his third year of completing a business administration degree and was running for student union secretary when the police rushed onto the campus.

The student union, Mr. Mohamed said, was organizing students who opposed the government, but the government saw it as students starting revolution.

Students threw rocks at the police; the police beat the students, he said. At one point, the police threw the Molotov cocktail that landed right on him.

He woke up at the hospital and later underwent two surgeries in Sudan. A year later, he went to Egypt, where he got his third reconstructive surgery and applied for refugee status based on political persecution.

In Chattanooga, he is studying English six days a week in three different places and looking for a job that won't require too much physical strength.

The surgery and therapy can be his opportunity to live a normal life again.

"I feel I can't do a lot of the things normal people can," he said.