This Hero Shielded People During a Terrorist Attack, Became Paralyzed – Now Canadians Are Stepping Up to Help Him
In a story that will warm your heart, a bystander who was paralyzed after shielding people from a deadly terrorist attack in Quebec City has received over $124,000 in donations from Canadians across the country.
It’s the type of story that reminds us the power of collective action. The Globe and Mail explains what happened:
Mr. Derbali was critically wounded last Jan. 29 after a gunman opened fire inside the Grand Mosque of Quebec City, killing six worshippers. Mr. Derbali, the father of three, had tried to divert the shooter’s attention to himself to protect others. He was shot seven times.In the days after the attack, as he lay close to death in Quebec City’s Enfant-Jésus hospital, many believed Mr. Derbali was to become victim No. 7.
He spent two months in a coma. When he emerged, he had lost the ability to walk. The fragments of two bullets remained lodged in his spinal cord.
While Canadians stepped up, political leaders were silent. More people need to recognize his selfless act.
Ms. Elghawaby said Muslim community members had been worried about Mr. Derbali’s situation for months, unable to obtain commitments from public figures or secure financial help for him. Mr. Derbali was his family’s breadwinner; he and his wife, Nedra Zahaoui, live with their three children in a fourth-floor apartment that is not adapted to his disability. They need a home that can accommodate his wheelchair.
“Everyone had been talking about Aymen and feeling anxiety over what his family was going to do,” Ms. Elghawaby said. “What he and his family have gone through is quite traumatic. People really wanted to help him, recognizing his heroism.”
Ms. Cadrin, a musician who helped start a benefit concern for for Mr. Derbali, sums it up:
“He literally sacrificed himself for the people around him,” said Ms. Cadrin, who grew up in Quebec City. She said the shooting at the mosque was a shock for the city. “We have a moral responsibility toward the victims as a society.”
Actions speak louder then words, and while it’s heartwarming to see so many Canadians step up. If you would like to donate to help Mr. Derbali, click this link.