Muataz Azooz is a double amputee — and a survivor. From 2004 until 2009, he worked at the Ministry of Justice in Baghdad, Iraq. Part of his job involved working closely with the US Embassy. As a result of that work, he was a victim of a targeted terrorist attack. A “sticky” bomb was in a car and detonated with a remote control device. That bombing resulted in the amputation of both of his legs.
At Ibn Sina Hospital, located in the Green Zone in Baghdad and affiliated with the US Embassy, Muataz had both legs amputated above the knee. After leaving the hospital in Baghdad, Muataz went to Thailand for rehabilitative treatment. This included several surgical procedures, neurosurgery, physiotherapy, and treatment for additional health problems. Relocated to the US, he settled in Colorado. Then, in an exclusive interview with InspireMore, Muataz shared how he received a new lease on life thanks to MagicMobility Vans.
MagicMobility Vans by Special Kids Fund
MagicMobility Vans by Special Kids Fund is a nonprofit organization that works nationally to provide disability-equipped vans to those who cannot afford them. When a family upgrades to a new van or no longer needs an equipped van, they can donate the used van to MagicMobility Vans. After the donation is evaluated for roadworthiness, it is offered to a family in that locale who has expressed a need for such a vehicle. That is how MagicMobility Founder Danny Goodman, an Orthodox Rabbi based in New Jersey, learned of Muataz’s story in Colorado. When asked about the organization’s work to provide Muataz with a van, he said:
“When we became aware of Muataz’s situation, we jumped in to participate in assisting a friend of America, whom the military had helped with medical care and we could now do our part through the MagicMobility program. He risked life and limb to help us; we felt the moral responsibility to be at his side. Thank God, we were in a position to offer help.”
During our interview with Muataz, we asked, “How has the MagicMobility van positively impacted your life?” Muataz answered with many positive comments about how having the van has improved his life. With continuing hospital appointments, moving about with a wheelchair can be cumbersome, even with dedicated medical transportation that has to be scheduled, often waiting until it comes. Muataz also has a daughter with Down Syndrome who benefits from the van. The family uses the van for medical appointments, shopping, and errands around Denver, CO, where he lives now. Muataz added that the family is happy and comfortable going on trips and outings, feeling like a regular family, able to go about in freedom because of the van provided through this act of generosity. It has been a real “life-changer” for him and his family.
Looking To The Future
As our interview with Muataz wrapped up, we asked if he had any additional thoughts. He began, “I would like adapted vans for people with disabilities to be made available to everyone.” Muataz elaborated, saying that everything becomes more expensive with a disability and that pricing for disability-accessible options is very high. He stressed the importance of programs such as MagicMobility in assisting people with disabilities by providing adapted vans. He finished by thanking the folks at MagicMobility (again).
MagicMobility Vans works with several groups and individuals to ensure a broad reach. As the parents of a special needs child, Rabbi Goodman and his wife Judy, a school nurse, know firsthand how an accessible van can help families. When he created the van program under the Special Kids Fund in 2006, he understood the impact the program could have. MagicMobility works to provide this freedom of mobility to as many families as possible. Your donations of funds and wheelchair vans make that all possible. For more information about this wonderful program, please visit their website.
You can find the source of this story’s featured image here.
**We couldn’t do all the good that we’re doing without incredible partners like MagicMobility Vans. We hope you’ll join us in supporting them!
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