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Help Young Family Victimized by Terrorist Attack

$31,437 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 708 people in 3 months
Created March 15, 2019
On March 15th 2019 (New Zealand time), my friend Alta was cooking in her kitchen, in their new place when she got a call from her husband, Jul. It wasn't clear until the second call, minutes later, that there had been an attack of some kind at Linwood Islamic Center in Christchurch, where he had just gone with their toddler for Friday prayers. Jul was shot in multiple places on his body while sheilding his son from the gunfire. He has a drain in his lung, and extensive damage elsewhere. He survived, but is still in poor condition and will require more surgery. Alta was reunited with her 2 1/2 year old baby, Averroes, after hours of searching for information. He has a gunshot wound to his leg and backside and is currently in surgery. He is traumatized from this tragic event, but Alta has so much gratitude for their survival. This young family recently relocated from Indonesia, which is Jul's homeland. Jul is a talented, hardworking artist. Alta is an American who has lived in Indonesia for many years and had a dream to settle in New Zealand with her family. She has been doing freelance work online to make ends meet and help transition from Indonesia to New Zealand. I am asking for your support for this family who is now reeling from this insidious attack. Alta will now have to cease much of her work while she cares for her husband and son. Since they are new to the area, they have no family and friends near them for emotional or financial support. The picture shown is a recent one taken on such a happy day and they felt at peace in NZ. Please help alleviate their financial stress as they heal from this nightmare. The money will be used for uncovered medical and household expenses while the couple restabilizes, and to alleviate the financial stress until Alta and Jul can work again. All donations will go directly to the family and Alta Sacra is the direct beneficiary. I, Jodi Puhalla, from the US(friend of the family) serve only as the campaign organizer. Let's help restore their peace and counteract this horrible act of violence.
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Today, June 15th (New Zealand time) marks three months since the mosque terror attacks here in Christchurch, which impacted so many people in unimaginable ways. These past few months have been a whirlwind for our family and things have only recently become slightly more manageable. With this in mind, and it having been two months since the last update, I wanted to make time to send a personal note to everyone, letting you know what we’ve been up to and how we are doing, since we haven’t been posting on social media or had a lot of time to communicate in general.

First, my husband Jul and I want you to know that your kindness and generosity has helped us tremendously. So, a huge THANK YOU once again.

In addition to marking three months since the attacks, the past week has been significant in other ways as well:

1. Jul had a wound review this week and was discharged from wound care, which means, after months of having a daily parade of nurses traipsing in and out of our home, we are finally ready (and have time freed up) to move on to other stages of the recovery process.

2. On that note, Jul had his first two physiotherapy sessions this week, beginning to work on mobility issues resulting from a lumbar fracture as well as undoing tightness from scar tissue and lack of substantial movement for a prolonged period. Next week, he will begin a “training for independence” program that aims to eventually get him back to being able to chase our very active child.

3. We’ve all just begun the process of getting the mental health care we need in order to begin dealing with the trauma from what happened and the significant changes that occurred in our life thereafter.

4. While we chose not to attend, Friday, June 14th marked a court hearing wherein the alleged shooter plead “not guilty” to all charges against him. The trial is set for May 2020.

Our son is now in preschool part-time and has a team of very supportive teachers who are taking all of the necessary steps to support his unique behavioral and mental health needs that have arisen from all of this. Having him in care gives him the stability he needs and Jul and I time to juggle our many appointments and obligations. In addition, I attend a once-weekly “bush kindy” (nature kindergarten) session with him along with other children and their caregivers.

As some of you may know, Jul is a career fine artist of more than two decades (www. zulfirmansyah.com). Before we arrived in New Zealand this past January, he had made arrangements to have two new pieces produced for the annual Auckland Art Fair that commenced on May 1st. He had completed 80% of one painting before the attacks but lost a whole month of work while in recovery. In mid-April he got to a point that he could sit in a special chair (provided by occupational therapy) for a few hours at a time. He was then able to finish the remainder of that one painting in advance of the Auckland Art Fair, and it ended up selling the first day. Around that same time, an article was released from Art News (a US art publication) from an email interview Jul and I completed in April. It discusses aspects of his career with some references to the recent events. Here is the link to the article: http://www.artnews.com/2019/04/30/auckland-art-fair-after-tragedy-in-new-zealand/

As we’re both unemployed, your donations have been used to keep us afloat with regular expenses, purchase a car (we had just moved here and only used the bus previously) in order to ease transportation issues, and meet the many other varied needs that have come up in the wake of the attacks. While we still spend most of our time at home or in doctor/nurse/practitioner offices, we have begun to have moments of time or energy to venture beyond those walls. While any recreation has to work around a tight schedule of our many appointments, obligations, and preschool drop-off/pick-up times, we’re now occasionally able to get out for brief excursions to nearby playgrounds and parks, or a seaside area that is about 15 minutes away by car. The week before last, we marked the end of Ramadan by attending a gathering of Indonesian families at an open home we were invited to. This was great for all of us, but especially Jul. We immediately felt at home in a room full of people who had been mostly strangers, while sharing Indonesian food, language, and culture.

Thank you again for your generosity, and I will update again in the future when there is time and something to share.

Much love to you all! xo
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Quick Update:

1. My son, Averroès (aka: Roès) was cleared to resume normal activities after an appointment with his pediatric surgeon, following a six day hospital stay, one surgery, and a week and a half of daily home visits from nurses to care for his wounds. He has some follow up appointments scheduled and will have a lot of scars, but is otherwise physically okay at this stage.

2. My husband, Zulfirman Syah (aka: Jul) was discharged from the hospital several days ago, following a two week stay and multiple surgeries. His range of complex injuries means a lengthy recovery. He has daily visits from home health aides and wound specialists who are providing him the care that he needs. He has no intention to resume use of social media or personal phone/email communication for the foreseeable future.

While we appreciate everyone's concern and thank those who have supported us in so many ways, we (including my sister Leah Jaia, who is authorized to speak on our behalf) won't be going into detail about any of the injuries sustained or responding to individual messages and comments asking for a status update for either Roès or Jul. Our focus, as it should be, is on our small family and working through the recovery process one day at a time.

Getting through our day to day life requires all of my energy. Posting updates often means taking time away from more important things, hence the infrequent nature of them. I know that snippets of what I say will continue to appear in news articles around the globe and that virtually no one can be trusted with the content of private messages/conversations and that they have a high likelihood of being leaked to the media (which has already happened repeatedly). Dealing with all of that since day one has been exhausting.

Further, beyond the physical injuries sustained, we haven't been afforded the time or space to process the emotional and psychological impact of these events as of yet because there is simply no time.

Please let us heal in our own way.

Thank you ❤
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Good news, Alhamdulillah!

1. My sister, Leah Jaia arrived yesterday and it has been an amazing support to have here. This is the first time she and my son have met face-to-face, and the first time I have seen her since 2014. His first words to her were "Auntie Leah! I love you!" You'll see a photo of the two of them attached.

2. My son, Averroes was discharged from the hospital earlier today and is in good spirits despite still requiring ongoing at-home medical care.

3. I have had the opportunity to meet with a lot of incredibly supportive people from the global Muslim community this week, including Omar Suleiman, a delegation of representatives from the various Indonesian Muslim Societies throughout New Zealand, numerous groups from other locations, and of course the many Muslims and non-Muslims that have taken the time to stop by and visit or express their care and concern for my family. We will never forget you.

4. Yesterday we had the pleasure of a sit-down with PM Jacinda Ardern, who was exactly as we expected her to be: full of grace, compassion, and empathy, coupled with a willingness tackle the unmet needs of individuals and the entire nation.

5. To everyone who has donated, prayed, sent well-wishes, positive vibes, and especially to those complete strangers who were kind, decent human beings in moments of crisis: THANK YOU, from the bottom of our hearts <3 <3 <3

6. Last, but not least, it is very likely that my husband, Zulfirman Syah, will be released sometime next week, with an extensive at-home treatment plan. I will keep you updated.

Wherever you are, please join us for two minutes of silence at 1:32pm NZDT (7:32am Friday WIB, 8:32pm Thursday EST)
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Update @ 18:50 NZDT - Saturday, March 16th
Message from Alta:
First, I want to thank everyone for their kind words, concern, and assistance. We sincerely appreciate the support we have received from far and wide. Given the volume of messages I have received and the incessant requests from media outlets, I am unable to respond to everyone who sends me a message. I will do my best to make a public post whenever there is something that we choose to share and I have the time and energy to share it.

- Zulfirman Syah (my husband) shielded our son during the attack at Linwood Islamic Centre, which caused him to receive most of the bullets and much more complex injuries than our son. He is in stable condition following the extensive exploratory and reconstructive surgery he had earlier today. While he is still in the intensive care unit at this stage, he will be moved to the general ward whenever it is deemed appropriate (likely in the next day or so). While the road to recovery will be long, his condition has only improved since he arrived at the hospital yesterday. This afternoon he had a visit from the Indonesian ambassador, which lifted his spirits.

- Averroes (our son) sustained minor injuries and had surgery this morning to extract some shrapnel while checking for internal injuries. He is recovering nicely and has been cheerful while keeping the staff on the children's ward entertained with his talkative and energetic nature.

I am grateful that my family members are alive, as many lives were lost during these attacks. Please keep those people in your thoughts and prayers.

Thank you <3
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$31,437 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 708 people in 3 months
Created March 15, 2019
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