Two Ghanaian refugees, Seidu Mohammed and Razak Iyal, have both lost body parts to frostbite after a 7-hour trek from the United States to Canada.
The duo were illegally living in the United States, but following President Trump’s promise to track and deport illegal immigrants, Mohammed and Iyal chose the risky escape, and walked several kilometres in snow, to Canada.
Mohammed reportedly fled Ghana for the United States in 2015 because he feared for his life because of his sexual orientation. However, on getting to the United States, Mohammed was detained by the authorities for a year. He later applied for asylum after his visa ran out, but he was denied that request by a judge.
And so he ran.
In Minneapolis, Mohammed met another Ghanaian Razak Iyal, and on December 24, the duo agreed to embark on that trip. They took a bus to Grand Forks, North Dakota, got on a $400 cab for a ride to a spot near the border, and then began the trek.
“I was wearing one two sweater and a jacket. Seidu was wearing one sweater and a jacket,. We were wearing gloves, but the gloves could not contain that cold,” said Iyal.
Seidu Mohammed said he couldn’t see in the dark. “I was walking in his [Iyal’s] footstep because my eyes were frozen.”
They suffered severe frostbite and were saved when a truck driver on Highway 75, near the Emerson, Manitoba in Canada, stopped and called 911 to get them medical help.
The refugees were rushed to the Winnipeg’s Health Sciences Centre, and due to the damages done to their bodies by the cold, lost some body parts.
Seidu Mohammed lost all his fingers, while Razak Iyal lost some, too.
Now, the Ghanaian refugees have applied for asylum in Canada, and have been welcomed by the community, while waiting and hoping that their requests get approved.