In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
"On the day of judgement there will be a group of people who will be standing on pulpits made of light, they will cross the bridge as easy and fast as a flash of lightening, people will be blinded by how strong their light is. They will not be prophets nor martyrs but they will be the one's who helped alleviate the hardships and burdens of mankind."
~The Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him)
Meet Kafayah Yusuf. A 28 year old, bright eyed, good-natured young Muslimah. Upon first glance, you would never know the struggles she endures.
Kafayah Yusuf sits on her bed in the apartment she shares
Kafayah is from a town called Kaduna in Nigeria, West Africa. The 6th child of 8 children, Kafayah learned patience at an early age. Growing up in Nigeria, the most populated country in Africa, she is no stranger to patience. Patience when the government does not always pay its employees in full and on time. Patience when the lights in her district are turned off in order to share electricity amongst the other districts. Patience when always having to walk or catch a moped to get where she needs to go. Patience when feeling the pangs of hunger but rationing the food supply to last longer.
However, Kafayah is not really one to complain. Born and raised as a Muslim, Kafayah enjoys going to the masjid to be around believers. She was on her way to a masjid when the life changing accident that cost her her leg happened.
“I remember the exact day it happened!” Exclaimed Kafayah. It was Mawlid and I was on the way to the masjid with with my 5 year old nephew. It was Friday, May 20th, 2011 to be exact.” Kafayah and little Abdulahi had caught a bus and were headed to the festivities when their bus collided with an oncoming trailer! Kafayah got a deep gash at her hairline and several open fractures in her left leg from above the knee downward. In excrutiating pain, Kafayah was taken by good-samaritans to a local hospital to receive treatment. Upon arrival, she was turned away despite her ailing condition because the general hospital was on strike. Yes, strike. Kafayah says that when a hospital is on strike, they only see ‘quick fix’ cases that they will receive fast money from. Majority of the time, people like her are turned away.
Kafayah was transferred to a smaller hospital where she waited for an absurd seven days to be treated. Seven. Having lost a lot of blood and still in unimaginable pain, Kafayah lost consciousness for some time. She had not been given any pain medicine; her leg fractures were still wide open as the flesh and bone lay exposed to bacteria and the elements. Family, friends and townspeople begged the hospital to work on her, reminding them that her life was valuable too; worth saving. She was transferred again without treatment because the hospital was not equipped to treat her injuries. At the new hospital in a city called Illorin, Kafayah was seen but by unprofessional staff. She said “they did not properly clean my leg. They just wiped it with gauze and sewed it closed! It is that very action that Kafayah believes caused her to lose her leg.
Kafayah’s leg grew infected and discolored and this led to four surgeries. During the first surgery, metal rods were attached to the bones in her leg in attempt to realign them to initiate healing. Kafayah was given two blood transfusions at this time. However, her leg did not heal and her pain was increasing! The second time around, they went in to check the bones and the surrounding flesh. They found it infected, inflamed and on the cusp of decaying. Kafayah and her family turned to traditional medicine at a small hospital for eight days; to no avail. With no hope in the healing of Kafayah’s leg, the doctors informed her and her family that they would have to amputate the leg above the knee to avoid the spreading of the infection to the rest of her body. This would serve as the third surgery. Kafayah received two more blood transfusions at this time.
Kafayah without her prosthetic leg
Devastated, debilitated and exhausted of funds, kafayah spent the next four months in recovery at the hospital. This, as you can imagine, accumulated a rather high hospital bill; one that shoved Kafayah’s family deep into debt! Kafayah’s brother use to come regularly to wash, coat with honey and bandage the remainder of her leg. Kafayah underwent a fourth and final surgery on her leg and received two more blood transfusions. She received six transfusions total.
Kafayah was given a ‘makeshift’ prosthetic leg to help her walk but the 1st prosthetic leg was too short. The second one she received was made for a right leg and seeing as it was her left leg that was amputated, this prosthetic too was ill-fitting and the cause of much discomfort. Finally, her mother purchased a plastic leg for Kafayah at the cost of 25,000 naira which equals about $125. This is the leg that she still currently uses but, this leg too, is failing and painful to stand on.
With a medical urgency request letter from a physician at Wright’s & Phillipis and a family friend Br. Abdul Fattah Imam, Kafayah applied at the US embassy in Nigeria. She was granted a B-2 medical visa to the United States in hopes of getting a proper prosthetic leg. In October 2013, she was referred by Br. Abdul Fattah Imam, a family friend and fellow amputee, to the Hope Clinic for a prosthetic leg and Wrights & Fillipis for a socket. However, both the leg and socket are not a match and way too big for kafayah. In order for her to obtain a leg suitable for her needs, she will have to get one custom-made. The Physician on her case, Dr. Bill Simon of Wright’s & Phillipis, has given us a quote of $8,000 for Kafayah’s new leg.
A previous lab picture developer and hair braider, Kafayah use to spend hours on her feet. She refers to herself as someone who was always on the go! She misses that mobility; she misses her independence. Kafayah is staying with a local Nigerian family in Michigan with an approximately 10x12 foot room that she lives out of. All of her biological family is back in Nigeria.
For the past two years, Kafayah has been actively seeking assistance in getting a new prosthetic leg but was always turned away because at the time, she only had a medical visitors visa but no green card or social security number. Now that Kafayah has been granted asylum, she is closer to getting the help that she needs inshAllah.
What she Seeks:
Kafaya needs a proper fitting above-the-knee prosthetic leg. This consist of a socket for the thigh, a liner, a suspension and foot. After analysis by Dr. Simon, we were presented with a total for $8,000 to get Kafayah the leg she needs.
Kafayah can barely walk. Her prosthetic leg is failing and her right biological leg is overburdened and causing intense hip, back and leg pain. She said exhaustedly, ‘sometimes, I cannot even handle the pain!’. Kafayah has not been able to receive any prescription pain medication here in the United States because she was waiting to be assigned her documentation and social security number. Whenever an acquaintance visits from Nigeria, Kafayah’s mother sends prescription medication with them to give to Kafayah. That is how she has been managing the radiating pain. Kafayah dreams of improved mobility; the ability to stand up and sit down with ease.
Her advocate, Br. Abdul Fattah Imam is also an amputee. After he was given a new leg a few years back, he was determined to help other amputees regain their mobility. Abdul Fattah who also lost his leg in a car crash now drives and spends his time with his family and acquaintances. There is a new normalcy that comes around post amputation; an individual simply has to be afforded the chance to achieve it by gaining mobility.
As aforementioned, Kafayah resides in a room in a shared apartment. Recently, due to financial difficulty, she has been asked to pay $350 towards the rent. Kafayah is basically unemployed only managing to work prn at an African braiding salon. When asked how she manages such a job with her condition she responded,
“Oh, it pains me a lot! Very much, having to stand putting all of my weight on my right leg. But, I do it because I have to and desperately need the money. Braiding is not a sitting job. Sometimes, they don’t even call me in two weeks but, when they do, I try my best to accept. I want to support myself.”
She dreams of eventually living in her own apartment. She says that she would like to braid client’s hair inside her home until she is able to find alternate employment.
“I could work at any store around here”, she said. But, I’d need a proper leg to walk better”.
"Perhaps you might be asleep while the doors of heaven are knocking with tens of supplications for you, by a poor person you aided or a sad person you cheered up or a distressed person you brought relief to. Therefore, do not underestimate the power of doing good." ~Ibn Al-Qayyim
Abdul Fattah reached out to us at Muslim Family Services (MFS) as well as local community advocates about Kafayah’s case. We have joined forces in attempt to help Kafayah who is genuinely in need. Now, we need your assistance! Kafayah needs you! Please help us reach our goal of raising $8,000 to go towards Kafayah’s cause. Every penny counts and now is the time to give sadaqah for the sake of Allah (swt). 100% of proceeds will go towards paying for Kafayah’s new leg and medical bills. We would also like to assist her with rent for some time during her rehabilitation. Together, we can help our sister get back on her feet inshAllah. Imagine the reward for that! Unimaginable but awaiting us all, inshAllah!
If you have any questions or can assist us with this process in any way, please do not hesitate to contact us. Her situation is urgent! We would like to see her with a new leg as soon as possible, inshAllah.
May Allah Almighty reward you all immensely!
Donations: Donations can be made through the 'Donate Now' button above or by mail.
*All donations will be paid directly to the medical establishments by MFS.
1. Select the 'General Donaton-Sadaqa' choice under the campaign menu.
2. Fill in your credit card information.
3. Memo: Kafayah Case
Our mailing address is: 12346 McDougall st. Detroit, MI 48212.
*Checks must be made out to Muslim Family Services. Please memo: Kafayah Case
Muslim Family Services is a 501-C Non-profit organization that operates solely off donations. Their office is located in Detroit, MI. Tax ID: 04-3810161