Newborn back home to meet mourning family

By DAWN BOOTH, Connect Weekly

A GoFundMe account has been initiated to help support Belal Hossain and his three sons. Hossain’s wife died after giving birth to her third son at the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre on January 26. HANDOUT

A GoFundMe account has been initiated to help support Belal Hossain and his three sons. Hossain’s wife died after giving birth to her third son at the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre on January 26. HANDOUT

Newborn Rayaan is back in Fort McMurray and met his father Belal Hossain and brothers for the first time, after his mother Farzana Nasrin, 37, died shortly after giving birth.

“Rayaan is doing good. Today, we brought him home from the hospital and he is with another Bangladeshi family, until further arrangement is made,” said Reaz Ahmed, a close friend to Hossain, on February 1. “Belal is trying to bring his sister from Bangladesh to take care of Rayaan.”

 “This is a tragic accident and we extend our most sincere condolences to this patient’s loved ones,” Senior Communications Advisor of Alberta Health Services Kirsten Goruk shared in a statement with Connect on January 29

On January 26, Hossain was at the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre (NLRHC), along with his two sons (ages six and two), ready to welcome the birth of his baby boy, when a tragic turn of events took place. Nasrin died shortly after due to causes unknown and an investigation is being conducted. Baby Rayaan was transported to an Edmonton hospital for medical testing. The tragedy left Hossain alone with his two sons, who were all waiting to meet their newest family member for the first time.

“This is a tragic accident and we extend our most sincere condolences to this patient’s loved ones,” Senior Communications Advisor of Alberta Health Services Kirsten Goruk shared in a statement with Connect on January 29.

“AHS social workers are working closely with the family, including offering to make travel accommodation arrangements for them in Edmonton, so they can visit their newborn child. AHS Victim Services and social workers are also actively assisting in helping a family member travel from Bangladesh to Canada, to provide further support.”

Baby Rayaan was brought back to the NLRHC on January 31, the day after a funeral prayer was held at the Markaz Ul Islam mosque.

Ahmed has been speaking to the public on Hossain’s behalf. Ahmed shared they use to live in the same Fort McMurray neighbourhood and have been friends since.

“Most of us in the local Bengali community have the same aged children,” Ahmed said. “Our wives were close friends. We are all hurting for them.”

As the devastating news travelled quickly across the community; an outpour of family, friends, neighbours and complete strangers have been coming together to support Hossain and his three boys.

Acting Principal of the Fort McMurray Islamic School Shabana Rahman has been consoling the family, as Hossain’s six-year-old son attends the school. Rahman said she first learned about the incident the day after it took place and has been in contact with Hossain. He shared with Rahman that he wanted to have his son back to school on Monday.

“He’s going back tomorrow,” she said on January 31. “Dad wants him back.”

Rahman initiated a GoFundMe account – Support family who lost mom – to raise money for the funeral expenses, travel costs and any other immediate needs.

In the first 24 hours, the original goal amount of $5K had exceeded to over $11K and the number continues to raise daily. At press time, the total was over $13,750.

“I don’t know Belal and didn’t want to intrude during such an awful time, but wanted his family to be supported,” said McEachern, an employee of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.

Local resident Lauren McEachern contacted several organizations on Friday morning (January 29) after first learning the news, she said she didn’t know Hossain, but wanted to quickly help any way possible.

“I don’t know Belal and didn’t want to intrude during such an awful time, but wanted his family to be supported,” said MacEachern, an employee of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. “My son received care at the Stollery, as a newborn, and I know a little bit about how challenging those travel and hotel costs can be. I hope he and his sons just know there are people in the community who are thinking of them and praying for them. I can’t imagine what they’re going through, but our hearts are with them.”

The final plans for Farzana Nasrin’s funeral are still in discussion. Hossain has shared with both Ahmed and Rahman he is truly grateful for the community support.

– Connect Weekly –