Syrian refugee boy gets donated bike from parents who lost their son

Calgary parents who lost their son to the "choking game" saw a video request from 12-year-old Syrian refugee Abdo Al Oeteke asking for a bicycle. They decided they were ready to part with their late son's bike and thought he'd want the Syrian boy to have it.

Couple responded to video appeal from Syrian boy for a bicycle

Abdo Al Oeteke, 12, poses with his new bicycle, donated by the parents of a Calgary boy who died in 2014. (Mike Spenrath/CBC)

The parents of a Calgary boy who died as a result of the "choking game" have donated their late son's bike after they saw a video request from a young Syrian refugee asking for a bicycle. 

Malcolm Eyjolfson and Kerri Workman's 11-year-old son Bryce died in October 2014. He had been playing the "choking game", which involves youth asphyxiating each other for a temporary, drug-free high.

Malcolm Eyjolfson and Kerri Workman decided to donate their late son's bicycle to a young Syrian refugee after seeing his video appeal. (CBC)

Workman says she has been keeping the bicycle as a way of holding on to her son's memory. But she says she decided she was ready to part with it after seeing  a video appeal for a bike made by 12-year-old Abdo Al Oeteke, a Syrian refugee living in Calgary. 

Workman and Eyjolfson brought the bicycle, as well as a helmet and a football, to a warehouse where the Syrian Refugee Support Group is storing items for arriving refugees. Workman says it was her first contact with the group. 

"Everybody made us feel very welcome, everybody was so happy that we came to bring this bike," she said.

"It would make my son very happy," Workman said, "Bryce would be very happy with our choice."

As for Abdo, his grin says it all, but he does manage one word in English when asked if he likes his bicycle.

"Yes," he said.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?