A woman who owes her ability to walk to a refugee surgeon who came to Australia by boat, has penned a letter to the Prime Minister pleading him to reconsider harsh new immigration laws.
Allison France, who lost part of her leg after she was crushed by a car in a shopping centre car park said she was destined to spend her life in a wheelchair before she met Dr Munjed Al Muderis.
"Dr Al Muderis came to Australia by boat, as a refugee from Iraq. I am sure you know his story. He is the only surgeon in Australia who can perform life changing Osseointegration surgery," France writes in the letter to Turnbull.
This week, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Immigration Minister Peter Dutton announced legislation that would mean asylum seekers who arrive by boat -- even if they're genuine refugees -- would never be allowed to live in or visit Australia again.
"I wrote the letter yesterday morning, I just felt so upset about the proposed changes. With my circumstances that would mean I wouldn't be walking," France told The Huffington Post Australia.
— Ali France (@alifrance5) October 30, 2016
France said she was still in contact with Al Muderis and he rang her on Tuesday night to thank her for the letter. He said it was brave of her to tell her personal story and hoped it would help people see the contribution refugees can make.
Dr Al Muderis was training as a junior doctor in Iraq when his supervisor was executed for disobeying a military order to mutilate deserters as punishment, advocacy group I Came By Boat reports.
Al Muderis refused to comply and then faced the risk of instant execution, having to flee Iraq in order to save his life.
"Munjed applied to work at every medical centre in Australia, quickly securing his first job at Mildura Hospital. Today, Munjed is one of only a handful of osseointegration surgeons worldwide.
"At an early age, he developed an interest in osseointegration surgery, a pioneering technology which uses robotics and machinery to grant people mobility and the ability to walk again," the website writes.
This is the surgery that helped France gain the ability to achieve a decent quality of life after the accident that left her left leg having to be amputated above her knee.
Under the government's new policy Dr Al Muderis wouldn't have made it to Australia, and he's only one example of the contribution that genuine refugees make to our country everyday.
"I try to spread the message as much as I can, all refugees whether they are a doctor, a shopkeeper, a secretary -- if they are deemed to be genuine refugees they should be given a chance," France told HuffPost Australia.
She said that by making a blanket ban on this, the government is not just impacting on the lives of refugees but other Australians lives as well.
"I owe my health, my ability to walk and have a decent quality of life with my children to Dr Al Muderis. As do many other Australians," France wrote in the letter to Turnbull.
"I urge you to reconsider your position on this issue and consider the welfare and happiness of Australians like me," she concluded it with.Suggest a correction