A 22-year-old construction worker who lost a limb after falling into a cement mixer was forced to sleep on the streets after his inability to keep up with the rent following his accident forced him to become homeless.
Mekhi’s story was one of many highlighted by YMCA Malta in a conference on Wednesday, where it published a new white paper aimed at tackling the root causes of homelessness and its ties to migration and inclusion.
The incident which crippled the worker last July at a construction site in Żurrieq saw rescuers from the Civil Protection Department struggle for two hours to free him from the machine’s grip and the fast-setting concrete within it.
Sharing his story with YMCA, Mekhi, who came to Malta in 2019 as an asylum seeker from Sudan, said it only took three and a half seconds for a five-metre fall to change his life completely.
The scene of the accident that changed a worker's life. Photo: CPD
“As soon as I hit the mixer, I felt these agonising, shooting pains running through my legs and lower back,” he said.
“There was blood everywhere and my leg was crushed to bits. I think the adrenaline kept me going until I was finally put on a stretcher... that’s when I passed out.”
Mekhi, whose full name was not provided by YMCA, was kept in an induced coma at Mater Dei hospital for three weeks, enduring countless surgical interventions, before awaking to find that his left leg had been amputated from below his upper thigh, with his remaining leg also having sustained serious injuries.
“It’s been a hard battle for me,” he said. “The hundreds of little actions you do every day without even giving them a second thought have suddenly become real obstacles.”
“I was on the streets, sleeping roofless for a week"- Mekhi
Initially, he had been staying with a friend and attending physiotherapy sessions several times a week, but things took a turn when his friend decided to move back to Sudan.
“Without any inco...