Ehsan and Nicky came to the UK with their three children in 2014. Initially Ehsan came to study but while he was in the midst of his studies bad news came from home and he and his family were forced to apply for asylum.
After only a few months in the UK Ehsan woke up in the middle of the night unable to speak. Rushed to the hospital he was diagnosed with a migraine and sent home. He continued to be rushed to the hospital over the next few months and scans revealed blood clots in his lung and brain. His health continued to deteriorate until he was in in constant pain and unable to walk. The doctors struggled to discover the cause of his ailment but at last he was diagnosed with the very rare POEMS Syndrome.
With Ehsan constantly in and out of the hospital, Nicky was struggling to take care of her three young children and to visit Ehsan in the hospital where he felt very lonely.
Mum to triplets, the young children grew tired of constant hospital visits and began to refuse to go with Nicky to the hospital. During the school period Nicky could visit Ehsan in the mornings but when the 6 week summer holidays started she knew she was going to struggle. Ehsan felt very solitary and lonely in hospital without visitors day after day and Nicky felt it was vital she was able to visit him regularly.
A social worker at the hospital found her crying in the corridor one day and told her about Safe Families for Children. “Just talk with them and tell them what you need,” she recommended.
Safe Families volunteers, John and Hilary, decided to provide support to Nicky and family, despite living at some distance away.
John and Hilary took the children on days out, including soft play and to the beach, both unusual treats for the triplets. Realising the isolation Nicky was experiencing they also took time to sit and chat and explain many of the English cultural norms that Nicky was fascinated by.
Nicky says, “Before I met John and Hilary I didn’t have anybody in this world I could trust. I was lonely all the time. So they supported me emotionally, they supported me with the children, they supported me with everything actually!”
Ehsan’s health has improved since his accurate diagnosis and is receiving treatment which is helping him.
“When I went into the hospital I was really crying, but when I left the hospital I was smiling”, says Ehsan happily.
“It’s been really rewarding seeing Ehsan, the father, come home” says Hilary. “You think, ‘Well, in a way I’ve helped towards that’. And we can stay friends forever.”
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