In 2012, a Yazidi family fled to Sweden in the hope of a better life, far from persecution. After nearly six troubled years struggling to seek asylum without proper paperwork, their traumatised daughter “fell asleep” - and didn’t wake up again for another five years.
For half a decade she has been in a coma-like state, a condition called resignation syndrome that afflicts thousands of other asylum-seeking children in Sweden.
Producers Zeina Dowidar and Andrei Popoviciu travel to Sweden and meet the families, doctors and social workers who are trying to figure out what this mysterious illness is, and how to treat it.
This episode was produced by Zeina Dowidar and Andrei Popoviciu. It was edited by Dana Ballout with support from Alex Atack and Nadeen Shaker. Fact checking on this episode was by Deena Sabry, audio editing by Youssef Douazou, and sound design and mixing by Mohamed Khreizat. Translation by Amina Khalil.
A special thanks to all of the families we spoke to, as well as Dr. Elisabeth Hultcrantz, Dr. Karl Salinn and Dr. Debra Stein for speaking with us for the episode.
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Find a transcript for this episode at our website.
Through smugglers, barbed wire fences and forests, Aizen arrives in Europe. But the sense of relief he feels at making it this far is short-lived: the physical and mental toll of travelling so far from home begins to weigh heavy.
This episode was produced by Al Shaibani and edited by Alex Atack...
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This episode was...