A 62 year old Nigerian electrical engineer experienced unimaginable misfortune, shortly after his arrival to Sydney on a Rotary Convention. Edwin Ikwu’s life had a 360-degree turn when he was diagnosed with a severe viral infection, while visiting Australia in June 2014.
Mr Ikwu was CEO of a large public company in his homeland at the time of his admission to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and within a short period of time, became extremely ill. The severe virus attacked his bones and as a result, he had both his legs and hands amputated, followed by losing bone mass in his nose.
Mr Ikwu's wife was only able to join him from Nigeria 12 months after he fell detrimentally ill. He currently lives in Beecroft in a unit that specifically caters to people living with disability, which is supported by Uniting.
"When I first met him, Mr Ikwu and his wife were very distressed and faced a lot of problems, including isolation, financial difficulties and a lack of self-confidence,” SSI Ability Linker Nasrin Azizi said.
Meeting Nasrin proved to be a turning point in Mr Ikwu's life, as she has referred him to many services and as a result, he now holds a position working with the Beecroft Rotary Club sharing his life experiences and making formal presentations.
Mr Ikwu has since been a guest speaker (live on air), with Linker Nasrin on HHH Hornsby local radio and was also a guest speaker during Refugee Week around the Hornsby, Ku Ring Gai and Hill Shire councils.
“Mr Ikwu and his wife now enjoy life; they feel very happy and confident. They have obtained their permanent residencies and are looking forward to becoming Australian and receiving their Australian citizenships.” Linker Nasrin said.
Despite the initial setbacks due to visa constraints and from organisations refusing to provide support to Mr Ikwu, Linker Nasrin's strong determination was successful in finding an organisation providing care and both, social and financial support for Mr Ikwu and his family.
As a result of actions taken by Ability Links Linker, Nasrin Azizi, Mr Ikwu is now able to receive free domestic assistance and support. Social support activities include leisure outings with family, such as shopping and community gatherings. Much of this generosity is provided by the Baptist Church of Gordon community.
Mr Ikwu and his wife have entered a phase of relief and positivity and have expressed their sincere and eternal gratitude to their Ability Linker, Nasrin, who has provided them with not only a professional service, but service with the utmost care.
"Mr Ikwu is very pleased and grateful, for the support that he has received from Ability Links and the wider community," Linker Nasrin said.