Simba came to the UK from Zimbabwe when he was 14-years-old with his family. His dad - Victor - was a student at the time. Simba’s dad Victor applied for political asylum in the UK, seeking protection after a warrant for his arrest was issued in Zimbabwe because he criticised the Mugabe government. But even though they were fearful for their lives if they returned to Zimbabwe, Victor was refused asylum in the UK, and so was Simba.
The Home Office still refuses Simba’s family’s applications for asylum, even after multiple attempts. His mum and younger brother are currently stuck in Zimbabwe, and Simba hasn’t seen them for 11 years. As ‘refused asylum seekers’, Simba and his dad aren’t allowed to work in the UK, and aren’t allowed access to vital services like the NHS without paying huge bills for them. All of this is part of the government’s hostile environment policy.
And then in June 2019, as he was putting together a new application for asylum, Simba suffered a stroke that left him in a coma. It was a terrifying experience for all of us watching him fight for his life for weeks. When he woke up, Simba was paralysed on his left side, and then he was presented with a bill for £93,000 for the life saving treatment he received from the NHS.
Simba has lived in the UK for most of his life, but because of his immigration status, he’s being charged for his NHS treatment. I started this GoFundMe campaign to help us raise money so we can pay for legal support to resolve his immigration case. Only then can we dispute the enormous and unjust bill he was landed with for his NHS care.
We are so grateful for all your support, which will also help me and Simba’s family look after him whilst he recovers from the stroke, and get him back up on his feet. The thing that keeps Simba’s spirits up is the support of so many people who have reached out - especially after his story was on the Channel 4 News in November 2019, and in the Metro .
Every donation - large or small - makes such a difference to us. And make sure you sign the petition in support of Simba , and please share this post as widely as you can!
Thank you so much from Simba and me for all your help.
- Siobhan Spiro
- anon May the Lord sail you through this painful moment.
- Kezia Richardson
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