Mustafa's Family Fund

It is heartbreaking to lose my mom, a caring mother to four children and a loving wife. She was a beautiful woman, who was not only an inspiration to her family, but to any individual she would meet. She was quick to make friends with our neighbors, the parents during school events, and even the cashier at our local grocery store and left a lasting impression amongst everyone. Mom was a dedicated woman who worked endlessly to take care of our family. It is unfortunate that that her untimely death has left her kids and husband to look after themselves, but she will always in our hearts guiding our futures. 

It is hard to process how she was taken away on a typical Thursday morning. Mom had woken up and sent her children off to school and then began her daily routine. She was outside cleaning the backyard around 10 am and somehow a fire sparked by the garage. Because of our traditional clothing, the flames quickly spread from her feet upwards. Within seconds her entire body was caught in flames. My dad had come home a few hours earlier and was catching up on his sleep after working late all night. He was in his bedroom when he heard mom’s screams outside. He quickly jumped out and ran towards her. He saw mom running in circles trying to put out the flames herself. My dad’s initial reaction was to run towards her and start patting down the fire with his body. He used his bare hands to rip off the burning clothing and then he grabbed the water hose and tried to put out the fire. In the process of trying to save mom, my dad also got caught in flames. He did his best to put out flames off her body and then carried her inside and laid her down on her bed. He immediately called 911 and went back to aiding my mom. He wrapped her up in cold blankets to keep her body temperature low. When the ambulances arrived, they took both my parents to the nearest hospital. My parents were treated at the emergency room, but required further care at a specialized burn unit. An air ambulance then flew my parents out to Rockford's medical center where the doctors rushed them into surgery. As news of my mom’s accident reached out to family and friends, everyone immediately left their tasks and came to the hospital to tend to the children and keep my parents in their prayers.

After several hours, the chief surgeon calls us into his office and informs the family of the unfortunate news. They were not able to save mom due to the lack of skin on her body. She had burned for almost five minutes in flames and lost 97% of her skin. Her internal organs were not functioning properly and there was little hope for her. My dad was in the same worse condition, but he only burned 35% skin from his face, hands and legs. The doctors were able to perform skin grafting surgery and applied new skin for him to heal. We were then allowed to go into our parents’ room and see them for the first time since that morning. As I forced myself to pull the curtain in front of my mom’s room, I was shocked and devastated by what I saw. The woman lying on the bed was pale with black spots all over her body. She had no hair and her body was swollen twice her normal size. I could barely recognize her as my mother. She was incubated and her chest was still moving, so I prayed to God to keep her alive because it was impossible to believe that I was about to lose her. I never imagined that at age 18, I would have to tell the doctors to take my mom off the machines and let her rest in peace. 

My dad was in another room in the same condition. He was incubated and unconscious. He remained out for a few weeks, and the day he woke up, he was unaware of what had happened. I could not bring myself to the correct words to inform him of mom’s passing. I had never experience a loved one’s death, and to have my mom be the first person I lose in my life was painful. What was worse was having to relive that moment because dad was unaware mom had left and he was never with his kids at her funeral. Words cannot describe how he took the news, but we all did our best to cope and be there for each other. My dad will remain at the ICU for at least two months to recover from his burn injuries. We all miss our mom very much and cannot even imagine a life without her being next to us. She had a great life planed ahead of her and I wanted to give her the world when I grew up, but unfortunately it was her time to go. Because of this tragic incident, our family is no longer earning an income during this time period and our medical bills, house bills, and college tuition expenses are starting to pile up. I am only 18 and am trying to manage all these financial expenses, so I please ask for donations towards my family’s expenses. All donations are highly appreciated. The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.





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Iqra Mustafa 
Hoffman Estates, IL

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