Richmond family will have to leave country, give up medical care for son unless they can pay more than $300,000

Posted at 11:46 PM, Jun 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-21 23:46:00-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- A Richmond family is on the verge of having to move back to Iraq and give up medical for their son unless they pay up more than $300,000.

Wisam Toma and his wife say their two-year-old son, John, has epilepsy.

“John was healthy, but after like six months, he got a severe infection and after that also lost half his body weight," said Toma. “From that time, troubles just started coming more and more. He was not able to eat food.”

Toma said John has trips to the hospital almost every week - but there is also another issue - keeping his family in the United States.

Toma came to Richmond in 2014 where he started a Ph.D. program at VCU.

“My PHD study was funded by my scholarship program in my country. Including tuition fees, stipends and health insurance," said Toma.

That program is the Higher Committee for Education Development in Iraq (HDEC). They held an agreement with Toma, stating that he would return overseas to work after he was finished with school.

But since his son's complications came up, the program is making his family pay for the entire program, $323,000 as one lump sum by mid-July, or relocate back to Iraq.

“We don’t have the 911 service, no ambulance. The hospitals are not equipped enough. There is not even an EpiPen that would be needed for an epileptic shock," said Toma.

Toma and his family are hanging on to faith in hopes that they can get the money and help for their two-year-old.

“We feel like we have a mountain on our back. We just want to resolve it peacefully as soon as possible and let everyone be happy," said Toma.

If you would like to donate to the Toma and his family, click here.