There is no greater fear parents have than the thought of having to bury their child. And perhaps this partially explains why some choose to abandon their terminally ill child, especially when he or she is also profoundly disabled.
It’s a scenario most would prefer to not even consider, let alone enter into.
But Mohamed Bzeek isn’t like most people.
Since 1995, this bear of a man with a bushy beard and a heart of gold has been serving as a foster-parent. He and his wife Dawn agreed that this would be their vocation when they first married, and specialized in fostering children with medical emergencies. The couple loved and cared for dozens of children—and buried ten—over the years. And when Dawn died two years ago, there was never a doubt in Bzeek’s mind that he’d continue this labor of love. He decided to not just continue, but to exclusively foster terminally ill, profoundly disabled children—children who can’t see, hear, or talk and have very little time left to suffer.
Mohamed now cares for one child at a time because the work is so physically and emotionally demanding, and for this remarkable service to humanity he is compensated $1,700 a month.
Currently, he is caring for a six year-old little girl who was born deaf and blind, and has mycrocephaly (a condition that keeps the brain from developing normally). She weighs 34 pounds, has daily seizures, and her arms and legs are paralyzed. The only way Mohamed can communicate with her is through touch. So, he holds her several hours each day when she is not hooked up to her breathing and feeding tubes, comforting her and letting her know that she hasn’t been abandoned.
And when he’s not taking care of his foster daughter, Bzeek is caring for his biological son, who is 19 years-old and has brittle bone disease.
A devout Muslim who immigrated to the United States from Libya in 1978, Mohamed believes these children have great worth and deserve to be loved for as long as possible.
In December, the 62 year-old Bzeek underwent cancer surgery and reported gaining even greater empathy for the children who have no one to care for them, or about them, in their time of greatest need.
“The key is, you have to love them like your own,” Bzeek said recently. “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.”
And the angels bow, and Heaven sings.
Mohamed Bzeek is a hero you should know. And I’m Dr. Ross Porter.