In September last year, COFA received a request from the Clinical Research Manager, Hepatology at the Royal Adelaide Hospital:
“I am writing to you to request help from the “Circle of Friends” for a patient of ours who is an Afghan refugee with end stage cancer. He would like to return home to his family for the last weeks/months of his life. Mr Q has been living in Australia for 5 yrs, working in Bordertown, sending money home to his family to help support them. As he has been unable to work for the past few months he does not have the money to get home, or to continue to support his family. It appears that a one way flight to Kabul which is approx. $1600. Help to fund this flight is urgently sought so that Mr Q can return home before he becomes too ill to fly.”
Circles 110 and 115 were able to respond immediately and the $1,600 was transferred to purchase the airfare. A month later COFA received the following from the QEH Palliative Care Ward who managed Mr Q prior to his departure to Afghanistan.
“Mr A came in today and let us know Mr Q got home to Kabul, Afghanistan, where he was met at the airport by his whole village, about 400 people, like a prime minister (extremely well respected, helpful, hardworking family man) – he was thrilled his family were so very pleased to have him home. He spent a week at home with his family, hospital helped him but said they couldn’t help anymore and sent him home to die, which he did a week after arrival. Family obviously very distressed but extremely grateful. Wife made sure Mr A came in to see us to thank us all for our role in getting him home.
So I wanted to thank you all on behalf of Mr Q. What a great team effort all round. I personally am so proud to have been involved in this and with a lot of luck and a lot of persistence and excellent team work – anything is possible.
Katie and the Ward Team.”