Mohamed Bzeek had dedicated the past 20 years of his life taking care of sick children who he knows will die. With open arms, he has welcomed the sickest of children from Los Angeles’ foster care system into his home.
The kind man has buried 10 children, some of who died in his arms after fighting a battle to stay alive.
“If anyone ever calls us and says, ‘This kid needs to go home on hospice,’ there’s only one name we think of,” said Melissa Testerman, a Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) intake coordinator explains.
The kind foster father and Libyan immigrant recently welcomed a bedridden 6-year-old girl with a rare brain defect into his home. On a daily basis, he has to help her through daily seizures, limb paralysis and the fact that she is both blind and deaf.
Despite a horrible illness, Bzeek loves her as if she was his own child.
“I know she can’t hear, can’t see, but I always talk to her,” he said. “I’m always holding her, playing with her, touching her. … She has feelings. She has a soul. She’s a human being,” Bzeek said.
The 62-year-old man with his dark beard and gentle voice is the oldest of 10 children. He moved to America from Libya as a college student in 1978.
He started carrying for terminally ill children with his wife, and after she passed away he carried on in the role.
“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,” he says.
With more than 600 children under the care of DCFS’s Medical Case Management Services, many kids remain hospitalized for their entire life. This kind man gives some of them a forever home.
With 600,000 children in foster care throughout the United States, we could all use more people like Bzeek.