This family is fully supported financially by Government, and need the support of a group to help them adjust in Toronto. They are currently being sponsored by a Baptist Church in Nova Scotia who have become an extended family and tremendous support. It is recommended by the medical team that the boy should be in Toronto by early May so as soon as we are able to assist with finding a team that will be willing/able to receive them upon arrival, help them secure housing and them assist them with orientation and getting connected to the local Settlement Agency, the family will start making plans for their big move. It is our understanding that his heart is functioning at about 20% capacity at this time.
Here’s a bit of info about the family:
- The ALEWI family is a Muslim Syrian family of 8 (Dad, Mom and 6 children) who arrived in Canada in June 2016. Because of some medical needs with this family they have come under the JAS stream. We have just made application for a 2nd year extension of their JAS support. .
- Jan. 25, 2016 this family lost an 8 yr old son because of a congenital heart condition. They were not able to receive the medical attention that he required in Jordan and he wasn’t stable enough to hold on to get to Canada for treatment. This traumatic loss delayed the family’s travel to Canada by several months.
- The father has Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and I believe he may require a wheelchair (at least when he is leaving his house) and may require oxygen sometimes.
- On Friday, Feb. 10 the family met in Halifax with a cardiac surgeon/specialist from Sick Kids in Toronto who confirmed a congenital heart defect with their 6 yr old son. His only chance of survival is a heart transplant. Such services are not available in Atlantic Canada and the family will have to move to Toronto for assessment and then to be placed on the waiting list for a potential surgery.
This family has adapted quite well to life in Canada, despite their grief over the loss of their son in Jordan and their subsequent attention being poured into their younger son with his health concerns.
They have had limited opportunity to participate in language classes at the local Settlement Agency because of family health challenges but I believe they have had in-home language training since shortly after arriving in Canada.