A chance for a second life

Submitted by admin on Tue, 08/06/2019 - 20:43

Aya (4) arrives with her mother and two brothers in Bulgaria in the summer of 2016. For almost 9 months they live in one of the Registration and Reception centers of the State Agency for Refugees in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Their home country, Iraq, being in instability for years, now is facing great difficulties to provide its citizens with safety, medical and social care as a direct result of violence that causes serious demographic crisis with millions of internally displaced people.

Upon their arrival in Bulgaria it becomes clear that Aya has a very serious and complex heart disease, which has not been treated so far. Usually children born with the Tetralogy of Fallot (a congenital heart defect) undergo a heart surgery as early as possible in order to avoid complications and to have the chance of leading a normal life.

For several months Aya’s mother is reluctant and declines a heart surgery in Bulgaria. Feeling scared, uncertain and saving her hopes that such a surgery is better to be done in Western Europe, the little girl’s mother is unconsciously putting her daughter’s life at risk.

In the beginning of February 2017, Emi, one of the CRWB social mediators takes the case in her hands following an emergency situation when she calls for an ambulance as she finds little Aya turned blue and barely breathing.

Within several weeks of dedicated work, Emi had finally convinced Aya’s mother in the need of an urgent life-saving surgery. Aya was immediately included in the Vulnerability fund. The doctors gave a very disturbing prognosis: Aya had 20% chance of successful surgery because of the intervention happening so late in her life.

Currently little Aya had overcome the biggest challenge in her life, lives in Sofia and her family is in the CRWB programs for refugees who are settling their life in Bulgaria.


Her mother believes Aya is living a second life. “ I am grateful, I couldn’t have been able to go through this if it wasn’t Emi.”, she says.