RIYADH: Rashid Hassan
Published — Tuesday 13 May 2014
Last update 13 May 2014 9:32 pm
A cry for help on Twitter has changed the life of a bedridden, lonely Saudi young man.
In fact, a single Tweet was enough to see scores of residents flock to the bedside of 24-year-old Ibrahim, who had become paralyzed in an accident a year-and-a-half ago, only to be reportedly abandoned by his family a few months later.
Thousands of citizens queued at Ibrahim’s door at King Khaled Hospital in Riyadh to offer him moral support. His family reportedly has not visited him in three months and only his sister visits him on Fridays.
Ibrahim took to the social networking site after suffering depression at the sight of other patients being taken care of by their loved ones.
“I need stem cell treatment in Germany to recover from my injury and hope for someone to visit me,” Ibrahim tweeted on Sunday. “I have become restless. My father and brothers have not visited me for three months.”
He added: “I look around and see other patients being visited by their relatives and friends,” he said in his Tweet. His Tweet was “favorited” and retweeted thousands of times , making it one of the most retweeted posts over the past 24 hours.
A hashtag was created for Ibrahim, garnering even more support from sympathetic readers.
Even businessmen expressed their solidarity with Ibrahim, keeping him company and reassuring him that he is not alone. “I saw Ibrahim’s tweet last night and personally came to see him this morning to express my sympathy with his plight,” Waddah Omran, public relations manager at McDonald’s Riyadh, told Arab News.
Students from King Saud University also visited Ibrahim. “We should be there for one another in times of need,” they said.
Many well-wishers had to wait for their turn to enter Ibrahim’s room. Messages of sympathy and support also went viral on Facebook.
Khaled Al-Ammar, a Saudi businessman, has launched a fundraising campaign on Twitter to collect SR2 million to help Ibrahim afford treatment in Germany.
Al-Ammar has urged Saudi businessmen to extend financial support to a fellow countryman in need.
Many businessmen have since come forward with messages on Twitter pledging support for Ibrahim.