The brushfires in Australia have made headlines around the globe but one man’s story is particularly heartwrenching. It’s a story of a man pushed further than any human being deserves, and yet he continues on. When you look up “perseverance” in the dictionary, you’ll see Ash Graham. But this hero needs our help.
No Stranger To Overcoming Tragedy
Here’s a little background on Ash. He lives in Nerrigundah, New South Wales- one of the areas most devastated by brushfire. Two-thirds of the homes in Ash’s small village have been decimated. That’s two-thirds of the population left with absolutely nothing, staring into the piles of ash that were once their life.
The part of this story that makes Ash so remarkable is that he’s no stranger to tragedy and devastation. He lost his wife to cancer just over a year ago. And, now, he’s lost his dog. Ash quit his job as a roofer six years ago to care for his wife, Melanie. Even being his wife’s caretaker, he still continued to serve his community as a volunteer firefighter. The day the wildfires spread to his home, Ash loaded up his 3-year-old dog, Kozi, and went to the firehouse. He dropped Kozi off there where he knew he’d be safe while he went out to evacuate his community.
When Ash returned to the firehouse, Kozi was gone. People saw Kozi dart from the building as the inferno inched closer but they were unable to stop him. As you can imagine, Ash is devastated and he’s refusing to give up his search for his best friend.
“He was the only thing I was left with when my wife passed away, so, yeah, he’s my best mate. He’s my motivation, he gets me out of bed of a morning on my down days,” Ash told Unilad.co.uk as he choked back tears. “I’m just hoping that he was faster than Armageddon. Maybe I just haven’t walked that extra hundred meters, maybe I’ve just over-glanced an area and there were a couple of houses I hadn’t looked under.”
Dreams Went Up In Smoke, But That Can’t Keep Him Down
Ash and his wife were renovating their home- a project he was continuing when the fires stole it from him. He’s now living in a tent until he can rebuild the home that he and Melanie once filled with love and memories.
How one human being can overcome so much loss is nearly incomprehensible. Somehow Ash manages to do it with dignity, honor, and grace. A man that has sacrificed so much for the people and community that he loves is finally asking for help in return. Of course, he wants to rebuild his home, but a home is empty without doggy kisses and a wagging tail. Any help finding Kozi is all the love and support Ash can ask for right now. If you’re interested in supporting Ash’s recovery in other ways, a GoFundMe has been set up in his name.
Featured Photo: @AnimalRescueCooperative/Facebook
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