Fatma Akyulaf with GAU Nursing teacher, Emine Onkun and students caring for Zuhre Akyulaf in Ozankoy village

23 years bed bound as a result of a Road Traffic Accident

By Chris Elliott…….

When I recently visited the home of Fatma Akyulaf and her daughter, Zuhre Akyulaf in Ozankoy village, to record the donation of a wheelchair, I was deeply shocked when I discovered that Zuhre had been bed bound for the past 23 years as a result of being a victim of a road traffic accident and that her mother had cared for her for all of these years.

Shortly after that I had a meeting with Dr Mehmet Avci who is the President of TKOD, the Trafik Kazalarını Önleme Derneĝi (Road Traffic Accidents Prevention Association) when preparing an article about road safety and when I presented a new article we were preparing to publish that featured this case, he was also concerned and wanted to help in some way.

Rannveig Ystaas

As the Director of the Girne American University School of Nursing, he offered to have a Nursing Tutor and 3 student nurses come with me to the Ozankoy home to offer advice to Fatma Akyulaf on how to care for her daughter.

It was arranged that I would go to the Girne, Akçiçek Hospital to collect Emine Onkun and her 3 students and take them to the home of Fatma Akyulaf where we met with Rannveig Ystas a Norwegian lady from Mäklarringen Estate Agency who had donated the 3 wheelchairs to Ozankoy village including the one for Zuhre.

Emine Onkun and her GAU students, Okan Dereli, Leyla Bayrail and Tuĝçe Aytan then spent time talking to Fatma Akyulaf about general health issues to be aware of,  their treatment, and also her daughter’s condition and problems and gave advice on many aspects of caring with demonstrations of various techniques for helping and caring for bed bound people.

From GAU Nursing School, Okan Dereli, Emine Onkun (Tutor), Leyla Bayrail and Tuĝçe Aytan

Whilst they were busy Rannveig and I sat and talked about the problems that both expats and locals have when they need to give a lot of care and support to their loved ones in both hospital and at home and sadly there does not seem to be any approved association with volunteers who can help those who are on their own caring for others.

There is, it seems,  a real need for an organisation for volunteers from all communities  in Northern Cyprus,  approved by the Ministry of Health, such as those found in European countries, which would be available to give home help and also to give support for those whilst in hospital.