FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct. 12, 2012
- Belmont High School senior Nimr Ibrahim moves nimbly around the gym on metal
crutches, and jumps easily up and off a folding bed after making his first lifetime
blood donation at Belmont’s first ever Community Blood Center (CBC) blood drive.
He says he can move faster on crutches
than with his prosthetic leg.
refugee was 12 years old in 2005 when a stray rocket exploded next to him as he
stood in front of his Baghdad home. The
explosion ripped away his right leg and gouged his body with shrapnel wounds. His journey from war-torn Iraq to a new life
in Dayton is marked by many milestones, but he would say none is bigger than
the opportunity to return the gift of life at the Friday, Oct. 12 blood drive.
“I am happy
to donate,” Nimr said as he held the “Blood Donors Rock” lanyard he received at
the Donor Café. He glanced at his empty
pant leg and added, “Because I’ve been in this situation, where people have
given me blood before.”
rocket that shattered his body fatally wounded a neighbor. “The bomb just went ‘woof’ – the next thing I
am in the hospital,” he says. “I lost a
lot of blood. I felt the blood inside my body. The doctor didn’t know. I said
my back hurt, they flipped me over and saw my back bleeding.”
two holes in my back,” he said indicating the baseball-size of the wounds with
his hands. “The neighbor to us, he got
hit in the back this size,” he says indicating a coin-shaped wound with his
thumb and finger, “and he died.” The shrapnel had reached his heart.
“After I got
hurt my father said we’re not going to stay here anymore,” he recalled. “He
said we have to leave before something happens to all of us. So we went to Syria.”
his parents, three brothers and two sisters fled to Syria where they lived as
refugees for three years, their status determined monthly. They sought
immigration help from the United Nations and Catholic Social Services
facilitated the move to Dayton.
flourished in his new home. He learned English quickly and impressed his new
friends at Belmont with his ability to ride a bike and play soccer on one
leg. “If I use the prosthetic leg and I
am walking with someone I can’t keep up,” he said. “I walk faster and do steps
better with crutches.”
built upper body strength that made him a surprising force at wrestling. He joined the Belmont team and made headlines
for winning a gold medal his 130-pound weight division in the city invitational
American teens, he set his sights on getting his driver’s license and now
drives to school. He has given up sports
his senior year, a decision his coach understood. “I have to help my family,” he said. “I can’t leave them alone.”
father was a plumber by trade when they lived in Iraq. He has no license here, so his earnings are
limited. But they have green cards and a
path toward citizenship, and that feeds Nimr’s dreams for the future.
“I like plumbing
and electrical work,” he says, “and I’m good at it.” His plan after graduation is
to work as a plumber, earn a license and start his own company. He can then employ his father and brothers,
and eventually attend college.
continues for young Nimr Ibrahim. In his
young life he has been a survivor, a fighter, a Belmont Bison and now a blood
donor. As he says, he moves faster on
crutches, even when he pulls himself onto the donor bed.
Copyright 2005 Community Blood Center