Newly-arrived Iraqi refugee, Maged, has had many sleepless nights worrying that when he wakes up, he’ll find his son lying on the floor, unable to move.
Today Radmila, his case-worker from the support agency MDA, has brought him a gift via GIVIT she hopes will change all that.
Maged’s story might be considered typical of many refugees fleeing the savageries of ISIS in recent years but for the fact his son has severe cerebral palsy.
“We were evacuated from Iraq due to the situation with ISIS,” Maged said. “We went to Erbil [in Iraqi Kurdistan] and stayed there for two months.
“Our situation was quite disastrous; we were living in tents and then transferred to live in schools.
“My situation is not normal since I have a disabled child.
“It was very hard for me to leave Randy in a tent or school [and] when the weather became very hot in the summer for him, I had to sell my car, which was all I had, in order to apply and get passports and travel to Jordan.”
In Jordan, Maged and his family were met by a priest who took care of them, giving them rooms in a local church.
“I made an Egyptian friend there and he, along with the church congregation, helped us a lot, especially with Randy,” said Maged.
“Then the Church found an apartment building that they rented for a year and furnished its apartments fully for the refugee families to live in.
“I worked at a restaurant there with some friends I made.”
Eventually, the Australian Embassy opened its doors for people to apply for asylum and Maged would be overcome by the kindness of Australia.
“We applied and got an appointment for an interview after one month,” said Maged. “After six or seven months we were asked to do the medical exams and got our Visas.”
“We thank God because we are happy here, especially my son, who was very tired [in Jordan].
“When I was in Iraq I used to hear how accommodating they were in Australia to people in Randy’s case but didn’t believe it.
“Now that I’m here, I can’t believe how well [his teachers and caseworkers] treat him.
“They treat him with humanity.”
Randy’s small body is contorted and it looks like he struggles to stay comfortable.
At night he tosses and turns so his father has to pack him into bed with pillows and check on him regularly.
“One time I forgot to surround him with the pillows and in the morning when I came to get him, I found him on the floor,” Maged said. “I was crushed and my heart broken and started crying.
“When he fell out of the bed he didn’t move, he remained in the same position he fell in ‘til the morning when I found him.”
The gift brought by their case-worker, Radmila, is a hospital-grade medical bed donated through GIVIT by a company called Active Medical.
For both Randy and Maged it means something special that they’ve both lacked for so very long; a good night’s sleep.
“The bed you got for Randy will help in two things,” Maged said. “He will sleep better at night and I will be more comfortable and sleep better knowing that when he moves or turns around he will not fall.
“Instead of using pillows to sit him up, the electrical bed can easily do that – the bed goes up and down and will help me with him.
“It will mainly make him sleep better [but will] let me sleep easy all through the night ‘til morning.
“He will be safe.”
You can support Australia’s new arrivals by donating items here: http://bit.ly/2nbLw34