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Syrian refugee in West Michigan hopeful for new teeth

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WYOMING, Mich. — It has been quite a journey for one Syrian refugee family living in West Michigan.

The Ghazi family escaped their home in Damascus when the war in Syria started and with the help of Bethany Christian Services, eventually making their way to Kent County.

Hamad Ghazi is a husband and father of five children, but three years living in a refugee camp in Jordan took a toll on his health. He's lost all of his teeth, and spent the last six months eating only soup and tea.

"I was doing fine, l was living the top life," Hamad explains with the help of a translator. "I had two taxis and a taxi service. I was living good, but when the bombing came, two-thirds of my house was bombed out. After that it was downhill. The war came and life just turned on us."

Three years in a refugee camp in Jordan with unsanitary living conditions caused his teeth to rot, eventually causing him to lose all of his teeth.

"I just wish I could bite into an apple or a cucumber and crunch something," said Hamad. "All I live on is soup and tea, that's it. I've done that for about six or seven months and just want to taste food like a normal person."

Hamad says dentures weren't working for him, and a visit to the dentist revealed a set of implants would cost $17,000; a price Hamad can't afford on his paycheck.

"My wife and I work at a hotel," said Hamad. "I work in the laundry and my wife cleans rooms. Most of the week it's four or five hours and only on Saturday and Sunday do we get eight hour shifts. It's very financially hard on us to try and raise five children and pay the bills on such hours."

It's not just Hamad's teeth that need help. His wife Dalal's teeth are in rough shape, as well.

"It would mean my life to be able to eat and drink everything," said Hamad. "I want to be able to smile when I see my kids having a meal and enjoy life."

With the help of their translator, they've set up a GoFundMe page  to help with dental bills.

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