Monday 19 August 2019

Donors cover medical bills for Syrian refugee with terminal cancer

Syrian refugee Hiam, 48, who has terminal cancer, lives in a small one-room apartment in Tripoli with her two daughters after fleeing from Edleb in Syria. (Photo: PA)
Syrian refugee Hiam, 48, who has terminal cancer, lives in a small one-room apartment in Tripoli with her two daughters after fleeing from Edleb in Syria. (Photo: PA)
The Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (Sciaf) is helping to fund its partner agency Caritas Lebanon to support aid work with Syrian refugees (Photo: PA)
Syrian refugee Hiam, 48, who has terminal cancer, lives in a small one-room apartment in Tripoli with her two daughters after fleeing from Edleb in Syria (Photo: PA)

Lynsey Bews

A mum-of-two with terminal cancer is among Syrian refugees who are having their medical bills paid by kind donors.

Hiam, 48, fled Idlib for Lebanon in 2012 after her house came under heavy bombardment during clashes between rebel and army forces.

She has since been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer after experiencing chest pains.

Scottish donations are helping towards the medical bills of Syrian refugees living in Lebanon, including Hiam.

Along with her two daughters, aged 12 and 13, she lives in a small room in the Lebanese city of Tripoli, her day-to-day life almost entirely confined within its four walls.

Caritas Leanon, supported by the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (Sciaf), has helped towards the costs of her care.

"I underwent chemotherapy. The first time was intolerable. I banged my head through the walls, I lost consciousness. It was really painful," she said.

Hiam now undergoes the chemo sessions every three weeks.

"It is of course very difficult. If I didn't have any friends here I wouldn't make it," she said.

"There is one friend who came to my rescue, and another friend comes here to cook for the kids.

"But I try to cook for them as much as I can myself because the kids like their mothers food."

Her daughters share a single bed, while she sleeps on a mattress on the floor.

Life is hard here, but her main worry is for her children's future after she dies.

"I am scared for my daughters' lives. This is my main concern," she said.

"I want them to be in a secure family."

PA Media

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