Man who lost fingers to frostbite crossing into Canada wins case to stay

WINNIPEG —; A man who lost all ten of his fingers crossing the border into Manitoba this winter has been granted the right to stay as a refugee.

Seidu Mohammed, who came to Winnipeg as an asylum seeker, has won his court case.

“I feel so excited and so happy that the decision I was hoping for has come true,” Mohammed said Thursday. “I was so happy and emotional that I got a chance to stay in this country for the rest of my life.”

WATCH: Seidu Mohammed speaks with Global News after finding out he’s won his case to stay in Canada


He was one of two men who crossed into Canada on Christmas Eve, in a minus thirty degree windchill. They were rescued by a Canadian truck driver who called 911.

RELATED: Ghanaian community in Winnipeg comes together to help frostbitten refugees

Mohammed lost all of his fingers and has been living in Winnipeg, waiting for news.

His immigration lawyer, Bashir Khan, said he received a decision by mail Wednesday afternoon.

“I called him into my office and I told him, you won. I gave him a big hug. He didn’t let go for nearly three or four minutes, it seemed like an eternity,” he said. “He kept saying ‘thank you, thank you’. He was in tears. He was over, over, overcome.”

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Khan said Mohammed had a “straightforward” case because of his sexuality. He is bisexual, which is a serious crime in his home country of Ghana.

“His profile is high enough, the fact that he has lost his hands, he stands apart and he stands out. If he were to go to Ghana, everybody would recognize him in Ghana,” said Khan. “His life is severely at risk.”

Mohammed said he plans to stay in Winnipeg and make it his new home.

“I’m happy I’m here now and I will do anything I can to contribute for this country,” Mohammed said. Once he’s recovered, he said he plans to play and coach soccer.

RELATED: Asylum seeker who lost fingers crossing border ‘very confident’ after first refugee hearing

“Seidu really is going to be a great contribution to Canadian society.”

The man Mohammed entered Canada with, Razak Iyal, is still awaiting the outcome of his case.

According to numbers from the federal government, 477 asylum seekers have crossed into Manitoba in 2017.​

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