Ginger lives at home with her husband, three sons and daughter-in-law.
Hamza, Ginger’s youngest son, is 16 years old and has a severe brittle bone disorder which means that his bones are very susceptible to fracturing, Ginger received the news of his diagnosis when she was twenty weeks pregnant: “His bones are so weak that he can quite easily break them himself, so we have to be very, very careful.”
Ginger’s family will be observing Ramadan, the Islamic holy month. At the end of the month, alongside Muslims worldwide, Ginger and her family will celebrate Eid, which marks the end of the month-long dawn-to-sunset fasting of Ramadan.
Ginger and Hamza are supported by Keech Hospice Care in Luton.
What kind of care does Hamza require?
“Hamza requires care to do absolutely everything, because of his condition, he isn’t able to do anything by himself, he isn’t able to lift or hold heavy items as he could fracture his bones, so he needs help for all of his personal needs. He isn’t able to be left alone at all. If he were to push his hands together, he could fracture his wrists. So it is 24/7 care.”
Who supports you with Hamza’s care?
“I support Hamza, and my husband supports me. We have two carers that come into the house once a week to support us, and then we go to Keech once a week – Hamza absolutely loves it there. He wakes up and asks me if it’s a Keech day. While we are there, the team care for Hamza and I can sit down and relax for a short while, I can enjoy a cup of tea and talk to other parents. He takes part in fun activities, it’s a good day for Hamza when we are at Keech.”
“Because of his weak immune system, Hamza only travels between home and Keech, and nowhere else. And of course hospital when we have to. Keech have been supporting us since Hamza was very, very young.”
During the month of Ramadan, how do you make sure you are caring for yourself?
“My husband looks after me so that I am able to care for our son. He is very caring and supportive. Nothing changes because Hamza still needs the same amount of care throughout Ramadan. It is a blessed month, we pray more and we fast for which we will be rewarded. But we stick to the routine that Hamza knows.
“We are taught that there is good in everything, it might not always be obvious, but there is always good. Our religion teaches positivity and I tried my best to practice and instill that in Hamza with Allah’s permission and everybody that meets my son says that it shines through.”
Does your religion comfort you when times are hard?
“My religion, teaches positivity, it teaches us to hold our religion close. I thank Allah every day for all the facilities around him (medications and treatment) and places like Keech. I think a lot of people could really benefit from the positive outlook on life. My religion has made me who I am, I am able to see good everywhere. I see Hamza as a blessing. Many people might not see a special needs child as a blessing but we are given the ability by Allah to look him and for that I am very grateful.”
How do you celebrate Eid as a family?
“We celebrate together as a family with Hamza. If the weather is good, we pray together in the open fields at a local cricket ground, and Hamza is able to come as there is a tiny chance of cross-infection in the field. If it rains, Hamza and I stay home. Hamza isn’t able to go to the mosque as the risk of infection is too great in close contact with people. We dress up, we celebrate and enjoy good food at home. We usually have food delivered as Hamza isn’t able to go to a restaurant. It’s a special day. Hamza gets some presents and it’s a day we all look forward to.”