A man who lost his fingers because of frostbite settles down in Winnipeg

A man who lost his fingers because of frostbite settles down in Winnipeg, Iryna Chyrkova

Razak Iyal, who lost his fingers while crossing Canada border two years ago, says Winnipeg has become a great home for him.

On Christmas Eve 2016 Iyal together with his friend Mohammed crossed the border between the United States and Canada. That night the temperature dropped to 30 degrees below zero, and the men spent many hours in the cold as they were walking through the snow-covered fields.

When a truck passing by noticed them, both men were in very poor condition: they had severe frostbite. Mohammed lost all 10 fingers on his hands, and Iyal was able to save only his thumbs on the hands.

Despite all the difficulties, the men received great support and hope for a bright future in Winnipeg.

Both of them are from Ghana and they decided to immigrate to Canada after Donald Trump was elected president and he issued a change in immigration law.

Iyal admitted that he had not seen his wife for 6 years. Despite the fact that he really wants to see his wife, he is not going to return to Ghana as big problems are waiting for him there: he travelled with his bisexual friend Mohammed and everyone considers Iyal gay, and in Africa all members of the LGBT community face tremendous cruelty.

The men received refugee status in 2017. They remain good friends and help each other adjust to life without fingers.

Now Iyal is working in Society for Manitobans with Disabilities. In the future, he is going to take a special course and to become a security guard. After that, the man hopes to take his wife from Ghana to Winnipeg.

If to ask him whether his trip is worth what he has now, Iyal without pondering responds that he finally feels at home. It was Winnipeg that gave him that feeling.

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Refugee frostbite Canada border
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