“The only house that accepts orphans and dying children in Los Angeles is my house. I have dealt with 80 children since 1989. Ten children lost their lives in my arms”
Mohamed Bzeek, a 65-year-old Libyan immigrant, came to Los Angeles 40 years ago to pursue a degree in electrical engineering. Over the years, he has dedicated his life to caring for children who have no one. After meeting his late wife, Dawn, the couple began fostering and caring for children, including orphans and terminally ill kids. “In 1995, we decided to adopt orphans left in hospitals or separated from their families by the state due to violence and pressure,” shared Bzeek.
Even after his wife passed away in 2015 after being seriously ill for over a decade, Bzeek decided to continue with what they had started. To date, this single father still fosters terminally ill children who have nobody to look after them, taking care of them till they take their last breath peacefully, as per Tusresiduos.
"I know they are going to die." This foster father takes in only terminally ill children https://t.co/X83MtvtmkG— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) February 11, 2017
Bzeek married Dawn in 1997 and became a citizen of the USA. Their biological son, aged 23, was born with dwarfism and brittle bones which made him delicate to the point that even simple actions like changing his diaper could break his bones. The Bzeeks managed to tailor their life to meet his requirements. After Dawn succumbed to her illness of disabling seizures and blood clots in her lungs, Bzeek continued their legacy of care, becoming a single father to the children. He explained, “The only house that accepts orphans and dying children in Los Angeles is my house. I have dealt with 80 children since 1989. Ten children lost their lives in my arms”.
Mohamed Bzeek, a widower with a disabled son, has been a foster parent in Los Angeles since 1989, he has cared for over 80 terminally ill children. Even while going through cancer treatment himself.— Abdul Razaq Narwal (@AbRazaq) December 1, 2019
He only fosters terminally ill children.
More info in links below. pic.twitter.com/PzPIyIiuxW
He is now a licensed care provider to medically vulnerable children in the State of California and has gained support from The Los Angeles Department of Children’s Services. His story came to light when the Los Angeles Times published an article about his efforts in 2017. The Diyanet Foundation awarded him the International Benevolence Award and Ensar Altay recently finished filming a documentary about him. The children require 24/7 care. Most of the children who spent their final years with Bzeek were sent to him directly from Los Angeles County hospitals as infants, where they were given up or abandoned by parents who were unable to care for them. “They tell me when the children are about to die and ask me if I can adopt them...when I take them, a familiar atmosphere is felt. They feel safe and are loved until the end of their lives,” said Bzeek.
“If someone ever calls us and says, ‘This child needs to go home to hospice,’ we can only come up with one name. He’s the only one who would accept a kid who couldn’t possibly make it," said Melissa Testerman, a DCFS intake coordinator who finds places for these terminally ill children, as per Los Angeles Times.
Despite battling cancer himself, he currently takes care of a young blind, deaf, paralyzed, and bedridden girl with a rare brain condition. "I know she can't hear, can't see, but I always talk to her. I'm always holding her, playing with her, touching her. … She has feelings. She has a soul. She's a human being. The only way to communicate with her is by touch and so I hold her. I want her to know that somebody is here for her. Somebody loves her. She is not alone,” he shared.
He understands how valuable their time is and acknowledges the agony they go through. “I know it’s anguish. I know it’s a lot of work and I know it’s going to hurt sometimes. You know, I feel sad. But, in my opinion, we should help each other, you know? The key is that you have to love them as if they were your own. I know they are sick. I know they are going to die. I do the best I can as a human being and leave the rest to God,” he said.
Do you remember TRT World’s award-winning documentary “Guardian of Angels”? The guardian, Mohamed Bzeek, paid a surprise visit to TRT World. Let’s revisit his heartwarming story pic.twitter.com/sQCK7djqNa— TRT World (@trtworld) September 12, 2022
A GoFundMe set up in 2017, on behalf of Bzeek, still receives donations, and has raised enough money to help Bzeek with necessary repairs and renovations while he continues to care for children.
Cover Image Source: YouTube screenshot | AJ+ | GoFundMe