Baptcare client Mulu Mihreteab Wins Australian Carer of the Year
Award brings Hope for the Future
WHEN twenty year old Hezron speaks about her Mother Mulu winning both the Victorian and National Carer of the year awards, her eyes fill with tears.
“My Mother has given her all for my sister Heaven and it’s amazing for someone to finally say to her; you’re doing a really good job.”
Single mother of six, Mulu Mihreteab, has been the sole carer for her severely disabled teenage daughter Heaven for fourteen years. Heaven’s many health issues including, cerebral palsy, chronic lung disease, throat palsy, pneumonia, asthma and epilepsy, mean Mulu gets only three hours sleep a night.
This tireless devotion and the many struggles Mulu and her family faced, prompted her Baptcare caseworker to put her forward for the 2015 award.
Mulu fled war torn Sudan for New Zealand with her husband and children in 2000. Her dreams of studying nursing were shattered when her husband left while she was pregnant with Heaven.
“This was a very dark time for me; I was on my own with six children, the doctors told me Heaven would not survive, and I could not speak the language,” Mulu said.
“I was broken hearted and scared but I realised I had to survive for my children, I knew I had to come to Australia to survive and for Heaven to have more services she needs.”
The Mihretreabs finally came to Australia in 2005. Since then, with the help of family support services like Baptcare, Heaven has more access to the specialist care she needs; medical care, schooling, equipment and some respite for Mulu.
But the Mihretreab’s precarious visa situation means Mulu doesn’t have access to all the support a complex condition like Heavens’ requires. Without the help of local churches and non-for-profits like Baptcare, Mulu doesn’t know how she’d survive.
Mulu’s daughter Hezron praised Heaven’s Baptcare caseworker Rose Indomenico for her tireless fighting for funding and for putting Mulu up for the award she so deserved.
“Winning this award has returned my Mum’s hope,” Hezron said.
“It’s given her the strength to keep on fighting and we now believe that Mum and Heaven will someday be able to get all the support they need.”