Help my son John to continue medical care in USA

$40,189 of $323,129 goal

Raised by 472 people in 2 months
Here is a video produced by Jasmine Turner of NBC12 about my family's situation.  Please watch and share.  Thank you, and God bless you!
My son John just turned two years old. John’s life has been filled with medical issues and suffering since the week he was born. John has undergone diagnostic testing weekly to determine the causes of his various medical issues: focal onset epilepsy that is difficult to control, gross developmental delays, food allergy, failure to thrive, abnormal swallowing, and aspiration of food that requires intensive feeding therapy. John was placed on a feeding tube for two months before he turned 1, to try to help him gain weight, but to this day he remains underweight for his age. Endoscopy, pH probe, and multiple ultrasounds of his abdomen revealed that possible reasons for his failure to grow were duodenal ulcers, kidney stones, severe diarrhea, hypercholesterolemia, and high calcium levels. He went through medical care for all of these problems; however, John will be in need of ongoing intensive medical care for the foreseeable future.39753962_1559939090280977_r.jpeg When I was a graduate student at Virginia Commonwealth University, my tuition and stipend were paid by Iraqi Higher Committee for Education Development (HCED), with the agreement that I would return to Iraq to work for them following graduation.  When I reached out to HCED to discuss deferring my return to Iraq due to John’s many health and neurological problems, they said that they do not care whether John lives or dies - they want $323,129. I will gladly pay that amount in increments over the rest of my life; however, HCED demands that the entire amount is paid as one lump-sum. If I do not pay this amount, or if I do not relocate to Iraq by Mid-July, HCED will charge my parents’ family for the money, which they are unable to pay.  39753962_1559939296179943_r.jpegThe origin of John's epilepsy was never determined, and he remains on high doses of antiepileptic medications that will be very difficult to obtain in Iraq. John goes into anaphylactic shock when he is exposed to common foods. Because of the care that John can obtain in the US, doctors have been able to save his life many times. We are scared to take John to Iraq because there would not be EpiPens or local hospitals that could save him in an emergency.  39753962_1559939512649683_r.jpegIn addition to these many health problems, preliminary observations by the program director of Richmond Behavioral Health Authority suggest that John is at high risk for autism. As concerned parents, we have researched the effects of early behavioral interventions on long-term outcomes of autism. The first few years of life are crucial for normal development, and children with autism need intensive specialist therapy if they can develop into independent adults. Again, Iraq does not have the services that John would need. There are no experts in Iraq who can work with children with developmental delays.  39753962_1559939559229319_r.jpegI am begging you to help me raise the money to pay back my scholarship to HCED so that my son can continue to live in America and receive the medical care he needs.  We hope that we can offer HCED a smaller, but substantial amount of money to defer our return to Iraq until John is better. Thank you for considering my request. Sincerely, Wisam, Maysam, Mariam, and John 39753962_1559939594742123_r.jpeg
UPDATE 1: Previously, we were told that the amount I owed HCED was $300,000.  My siblings in Iraq received a notice on June 17th that says that the amount I owe HCED is now $323,129, so we updated the fundraiser goal.

UPDATE 2:  Both Senators Kaine and Warner attempted to help us, but unfortunately, neither of them were able to do so.

UPDATE 3: On July 10th, the geneticist diagnosed John with Nicolaides-Baraitser syndrome (NBS).  NBS is a very rare genetic disease that shares many similarities with autism: lack of speech and developmental delays.  However, NBS causes additional long-term health problems, such as seizures that are difficult to control, feeding problems, eczema, and moderate to severe intellectual disability.   Because of the wide variety of health and neurological problems caused by NBS, children with NBS need ongoing specialist care that would be impossible to get in Iraq.

UPDATE 4:  We are receiving new information about the deadline.  The deadline might now be July 15th, or possibly later.  We will post an update when we learn the final deadline.

Good Samaritans who have heard our story are still trying to help resolve the issue with the sponsor.  We are very thankful for the contributions of all of our donors and the hardworking staffers in the lawmakers' offices. 
 
Please keep us in your prayers, and God bless you all.
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$40,189 of $323,129 goal

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