LOS ANGELES – A widowed Muslim man has spent the last two decades caring for terminally ill children, offering them a rare home feeling in their final days.
“The key is, you have to love them like your own,” Muhamed Bzeek, 62, told Los Angeles Times, according to a Gofundme page started by Oakland resident Margaret Cotts.
“I know they are sick. I know they are going to die. I do my best as a human being and leave the rest to God.”
Arriving in the US as a student in 1978, Bzeek said he and his late wife started looking after sick youngsters in the late 1980s.
The couple also cared for their disabled 19-year-old son Adam, who suffers from dwarfism and brittle bone disease.
Losing his wife to death, Bzeek now cares for a paralyzed six-year-old who is also blind and deaf.
“I know she can’t hear, can’t see, but I always talk to her. She has feelings. She has a soul. She’s a human being,” he said.
Dr. Suzanne Roberts, who oversees her care at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, said the unidentified girl would have been dead by now if it wasn’t for Bzeek.
Melissa Testerman, who places unwell children with foster parents, also praised Libya-born Bzeek.
“If anyone ever calls us and says, “This kid needs to go home on hospice,” there’s only one name we think of,” she said.
“He’s the only one that would take a child who would possibly not make it.”