Good Samaritan who stopped theft in Vancouver has $2,000 medical bill waived | CBC News

A Good Samaritan who was stabbed while coming to the aid of robbery victim last year in Vancouver has had $2,000 in medical bills waived.

Meraj Ahmed, an international student from Bangladesh, suffered a sliced tendon in his left hand when he stopped a thief, in the process of stealing a piece of computer equipment, during a Facebook Marketplace transaction in December.

Because he had not yet signed up for B.C.’s Medical Services Plan (MSP) at the time of the stabbing, Ahmed was initially charged for the surgery to mend his hand and the follow-up medical treatments.

But much to his relief, on Tuesday, Ahmed learned officials had backdated his MSP coverage to Dec. 1, 2023, effectively erasing the debt.

“They called me yesterday and told me I don’t have to worry about the bill,” he told CBC. “Definitely, I want to appreciate them from all of my heart…. It was very good news for me because it was a burden.”

WATCH | Ahmed describes jumping into action on Boxing Day: 

Vancouver food delivery workers stabbed after Facebook Marketplace deal goes bad

Two Vancouver food delivery workers are recovering from stab wounds after they subdued a suspect in a Facebook Marketplace deal gone wrong.

In a statement, the provincial Ministry of Health said that Ahmed had already been approved for MSP coverage at the time of the stabbing.

“When people reside in B.C. prior to their MSP application, they may be eligible for retroactive coverage,” a ministry spokesperson wrote. “Also, in some cases, people can also apply for hardship assistance.”

Ahmed had just finished making a food delivery in Olympic Village on Boxing Day when he saw a man who had just been pepper sprayed calling for help, and a second man trying to get away in a car.

Ahmed and another bystander — also a food delivery worker — chased the thief and were both stabbed. The pair eventually caught the perpetrator and held him down until police arrived.

A man lays in a hospital bed.
Ahmed was stabbed in his left hand during the altercation, resulting in a sliced tendon. The other food delivery worker who assisted the robbery victim was stabbed in the shoulder. (Submitted by Meraj Ahmed)

On Tuesday, the B.C. Prosecution Service announced that Sheldon Ilbegi-Asli had pleaded guilty to two counts of assault with a weapon and one count of theft under $5,000 in connection with the Boxing Day robbery. 

Ahmed, who is currently studying at the B.C. Institute of Technology, said his injured hand prevented him from working for two and a half months, almost putting him into a “financial crisis.”

Now, almost four months after being stabbed, he is still unable to fully grab or hold onto things with his left hand.

“My left hand is more weak than my right hand,” he said. “But the tendon feels better after the recovery.”

Ahmed said if he was ever again confronted by a similar situation to the one on Boxing Day, he would react the same way.

“I never regretted that situation,” he said. “It was a heat of the moment thing. If something happens in the future, I would definitely do something.”

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