A man breaks down next to the caskets of three of the six victims of the Quebec City mosque shooting during funeral services at the Maurice Richard Arena in Montreal. (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Supreme Court sets tentative hearing date for parents of boy in meningitis death

MONTREAL — A fundraiser to find a new home for a man who lost use of his legs in the Quebec City mosque shooting earlier this year has reached almost half its goal.

Aymen Derbali, a father of three, was one of the more than 50 people inside the mosque when a shooter opened fire last Jan. 29, killing six.

He took seven bullets and was paralyzed from the waist down.

The objective is to raise the $400,000 before the first anniversary of the shooting.

Derbali, 41, told The Canadian Press on Wednesday that he was touched when he learned about the fundraising campaign.

“I’m very glad to hear that a lot of Canadians, Americans and some people all around the world are aware of my situation,” he said in a phone interview.

“This is heart-warming for me and it helps me in my rehabilitation and psychologically … (and) it gives me a smile again.”

Derbali has been undergoing therapy at a rehabilitation centre since the shooting, but will soon be discharged.

But doctors have urged him not to return to his fourth-floor apartment because he has limited mobility.

He’s now looking for a new home closer to the mosque.

Amira Elghawaby, a volunteer with DawaNet, a Canadian-Muslim non-profit organization that has been raising money for his new home, said that it has been a slow recovery for Derbali, who is now in a motorized wheelchair.

“He does have some movement in his arms, but he will unfortunately never walk again,” Elghawaby said. “He is fully paralyzed pretty much from the chest down.”

Derbali still has two bullets lodged in his spine.

He said Wednesday that he has started to use part of his fingers again and has begun eating with his right hand.

The fundraising to pay for his new residence began ten days ago and Elghawaby said the response has been overwhelming.

“This is a story that has deeply resonated with Canadians and we all remember the terrible news of the massacre on Jan. 29,” she said.

Elghawaby added that Derbali still wants to live close to the mosque.

“Despite all he’s been through and the memories he must have, Aymen is still very much attached to that mosque and the community,” she said.

“He goes now every Friday for the Friday prayers in his wheelchair.”

Elghawaby said one of the 50 homes that have been looked at is a strong possibility, but doctors will decide if it’s suitable.

It was previously owned by someone with a disability, so it has widened doorways and no steps on the ground floor.

Elghawaby said the residence is close enough to the mosque to allow Derbali and his family to get there easily.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RCMP, city, health officials join forces in problem-property crackdown

Eastview property had generated recurring complaints to RCMP

Mag 7.7 quake hits between Cuba and Jamaica, but no injuries

HAVANA — A powerful magnitude 7.7 earthquake struck in the Caribbean Sea… Continue reading

Trump peace plan delights Israelis, enrages Palestinians

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump unveiled his long-awaited Mideast peace plan Tuesday… Continue reading

GOP squirms as Bolton prepares to dish on Trump White House

WASHINGTON — For much of the last 20 years, John Bolton was… Continue reading

More than 200 cabinet-appointed positions remain empty, says memo to PM

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been warned that more than… Continue reading

Country music fans enjoy free concert at Red Deer mall, ahead of ACMA awards

Fans like to get up close and personal and that’s exactly what… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Feb. 1 A Jump Rope Competition will be held at the Abbey… Continue reading

David Marsden: Let’s see success at Westerner Park

It’s encouraging that Westerner Park has admitted it needs the support of… Continue reading

Mag 7.7 quake hits between Cuba and Jamaica, but no injuries

HAVANA — A powerful magnitude 7.7 earthquake struck in the Caribbean Sea… Continue reading

Trump peace plan delights Israelis, enrages Palestinians

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump unveiled his long-awaited Mideast peace plan Tuesday… Continue reading

GOP squirms as Bolton prepares to dish on Trump White House

WASHINGTON — For much of the last 20 years, John Bolton was… Continue reading

More than 200 cabinet-appointed positions remain empty, says memo to PM

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been warned that more than… Continue reading

Alberta climate plan part of cabinet decision on oilsands mine: Wilkinson

OTTAWA — The federal cabinet’s decision on a huge new Alberta oilsands… Continue reading

Things for people in Canada to know about the coronavirus

Two cases of the new deadly strain of coronavirus have been identified… Continue reading

Most Read