My Wife Did Not Recognise Me

Back in February, we told the story of a Syrian doctor we met at the Night Shelter. Nearly 9 months on, here is how things have moved on.

I am now living in Plymouth. At the end of June I was granted refugee status. After years of uncertainty about the future, this provides real stability in my life. I am extremely grateful.

At the end of September, my wife and daughter arrived in England. I had been calling them every other day in Jordan where they were living temporarily to check how they were. I was waiting for them at Heathrow, 9.30pm on a Friday evening. My wife did not recognise me because I had lost so much weight! I had last seen my daughter when she was 9 months old and now she was 17 months, changed into someone with whom I needed to communicate in a different way. It was fantastic seeing them both again.

By the time we got to Victoria bus station, we had missed the last bus back to Plymouth. So our first night together was spent on chairs at the bus station. We are living in temporary housing.

I am studying to re-qualify as a doctor. My speciality back home was as a cardiologist. I have to find £2,500 before I can do medical work. I now have half of that. I am volunteering in the local hospital and until I re-qualify, I will get whatever work I can. By August my aim is to be working in the NHS, part of the new intake of doctors.

People have been kind and welcoming. We go to a group on a Friday at a Roman Catholic church, where they do a ‘cultural kitchen’ (and I’m really enjoying my wife’s cooking!) At the moment my wife and I are living in a dream, we’ve been looking forward to this day, when we can live in safety.

£750 of what’s been raised so far has come from St John’s and St Mary’s members. Please give via Tom what you can to help reach £1,250 needed.