Helping the Surgery Ward

Friends, I want to thank everyone who, in spite of the holiday chaos, continues to participate in our Donbass aid effort.
Thanks to you, were were able and are able to do a lot to help this region.
It may sound immodest, but my little-known blog sometimes does more than many well-known foundations, people, and even organizations. I’m genuinely proud of myself, my team, and us all! Because the volume of what we’ve done is impressive.
Thank you for your caring!
In addition to helping specific families who found themselves in dire straits, we help hospices, retirement homes, orphanages, and hospitals.

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How’s Seryozha?

I have been writing about Seryozha less and less frequently, even though he’d become one of the main heroes of our blog.
Everyone’s been laughing at me because of the mustache, for Seryozha shaved it off six months after we became acquainted. He went and shaved it off. Lena comes to see him, looks, points with a finger: “Mustache, Seryozha, where’s the mustache?”
Seryozha touches that part of his face where the mustache ought to be and looks puzzled. Lena wags her finger: “Mustache, Seryozha, it’s very important!”
Everyone had a laugh.
Seryozha grew back his mustache. I never saw him without one. Then I came to see him in the retirement home in Lugansk, shortly after his leg was amputated. He looks at me, smiles, and says: “Here I am, with a mustache!” His eyes were gleaming with mischief.
We’ve been taking care of Seryozha since the spring of 2015, when we met him in Khryashchevatoye. He was homeless, lived in a barrack without water or electricity, had progressive polyarthritis. A few weeks later he had a bad fall. It was a miracle he survived it, but a leg had to be amputated.
Much happened since then, and he’s become one of “ours”.  To read more about him, click on the “Kutsenko” tag at the bottom of this post.
How’s he doing?
Well, our happy-go-lucky-guy is beginning to give in..

 

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“Stresses”

You remember Natasha, right? A crazy and terrifying story.
A young woman, mother of two, epileptic. Lost her husband and home to the war. Due to “stresses” (heavens, what word can one use to describe “war”, the death of a husband, the loss of a home to shelling?) she developed a tumor on her head. She had a surgery and a plate inserted. We’ve been helping her since the summer.
Here’s how where things stand right now.

I’ll cite Zhenya, since he and others have been doing everything:
“After a visit to neuropathologist, at the regional clinic (if you want this “hero’s” name, it’s in the medical history extract). He prescribed a “wonder drug” which is “guaranteed to help.” Though he forgot or ignored her earlier prescriptions for epilepsy. We drove around the town, found the “wonder drug”. And…Natasha’s life was barely saved. Blood and foam came from her mouth. She couldn’t inhale. They barely managed to pump her stomach out. It turns out that when that “doctor’s” prescription is combined with her other drugs, it becomes poison. She was very lucky to get stomach pumped in time.
People! HOW”S THAT POSSIBLE? You have this far from young “experienced” asshole prescribing a powerful drug with a long list of side effects who cannot be bothered to find out what else is the patient taking?”
No comment from me. We were all in shock.

Thank goodness our friends found a normal doctor in Lugansk who helped after a thorough examination.
One of the source of problems with Natasha’s head turned out to be her teeth. She started losing them after the war started. She has a bunch of rotten stumps which get infected all the time.

Here’s what Zhenya wrote:
“Here’s what we did:
1. Took her to a hospital, 10 days in neurology. An IV for epilepsy and spine pain, immobilized her neck. Promised it should be enough for a year.
2. Organized an examination at the cancer clinic (lump on the head). Came back negative–HURRAH!
3 Organized an exam at the oral surgeon and a neuropathologist.
4. Underwent all the analyses, some of which had to be paid for.
5. A complete jaw x-ray.
6. Began to remove tooth roots (Poor Natasha is suffering, eats mashed food only).
7. Brought food twice in the last month (see photo).
8. Provided necessary drugs.

Enormous volume of work. We were particularly afraid of what the cancer clinic would say.
Thank goodness tests came back negative.

These are photos from the fall. Our friends brought her food and medications, as noted above. Most importantly, Zhenya helped with the doctors and analyses. Unfortunately, most of them in Lugansk are not free, and there’s nothing to be done. Moreover, all the specialists have long waiting lists.

Friends, I want to thank everyone who responded to Natasha’s need.
You can’t even imagine how much we were able to do thanks to your contributions.
She wouldn’t have managed without us. The cost of the plate in her head alone was beyond her means. Then there are her debts to the neighbors, grocery store, utilities. We were able to deal with all that. I have no words.
Thank you!


But Natasha still needs fillings for 7 teeth. She’s still a young woman, can’t make live without teeth. She needs inexpensive removable plastic prosthetics. Natasha has no money for them, either.
I already wrote that after the war started, Natasha’s fits became more frequent even though she had almost none earlier. Her epilepsy used to be under control. Now it is not, and she can’t work.
They live on a pension and disability benefits, which is barely enough to survive. They struggle to buy enough food. If it weren’t for us, it’s impossible to say what would have happened.
“Stresses” simply knocked her over.
If you want to help, please label your contributions “Natasha”.

Natasha’s medical history extracts.

If you want to join the aid effort for the people of the Donbass, please write me in person through LiveJournal, facebookV Kontakte, or email: littlehirosima@gmail.com. Paypal address: littlehirosima@gmail.com

Please label contributions intended for Natasha “Natasha”



How many families are like that?

Katya’s home in Valuyskoye was completely destroyed during fighting in 2014. They fled to Russia where they started over as refugees. With nothing. Four kids plus parents. One must say things went well for them in the Nizhnyy Novgorod Region. But a short circuit-caused fire nearly killed them. Katya saved the family when she woke up the parents and carried out two of her unconscious siblings. She received an order for bravery. I wrote about it in August, in a post titled Hero Girl.
They all survived but…had no place to live. They returned to Lugansk, as there was no place for them in Valuyskoye and they didn’t want to go back there anyway. It’s occupied by UAF, therefore they went to LPR. To start over with nothing for a second time. But already this summer they suffered a tragedy.
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Badly Needed: Coal and Firewood

Olya and Lena are single moms. They are both barely surviving.
They lived through the bombing of Lugansk in the city itself, sitting in cellars. Now they live in a place which is scarcely fit to live…
They both await the coming of winter with horror.
During the summer of 2014, Olya was pregnant and already had a three-year-old boy. Her house was badly damaged, only a wing remained where she lives with her two sons. No plumbing, no gas, she heats the shed using wood she collects. It’s hard to collect enough wood, but there are no other options.
The father disappeared already in 2014. He’s unlikely to be among the living.

Younger son Ilya

Only one room is habitable, and that’s the one they heat.

The entryway. You can see how things are from the photos. They really need coal and firewood. They don’t have enough money to keep up with the heating. They barely have enough for food and clothing.


These are Lena’s sons. There is also an older daughter who studies at a college to become a nutritionist.
They all live together in that wing which is better than Olya’s, but still…
Before the war she and her husband rented an apartment. When the fighting began, the husband vanished. Or, rather, simply dumped them. Lena was forced to find whatever place to live she could.
Same situation with heat as with Olya–coal and wood are needed. They all but use furniture for fuel, and this is a big problem for the family.

Vova and Misha

Lena works, but she has to raise three kids alone.
They barely have enough money, with benefits and all. But not enough for firewood during winter. They economize on everything possible. Zhenya said that when he brought food, the kids devoured it with their eyes. It was clear there was nothing at home.
Both families need a total of two tons of coal and a few cubic meters of wood. A ton of coal costs around 4 thousand rubles. Wood is cheaper, about 1500 per meter. Plus delivery costs.
Shall we help Olya and Lena survive this winter?
Yet another winter which is a quest for survival, because they heat with whatever they can find. They freeze, they sleep fully dressed, under ten blankets.
Please label your contributions “firewood”.

Thank you, friends, for your caring!

If you want to join the aid effort for the people of the Donbass, please write me in person through LiveJournal, facebookV Kontakte, or email: littlehirosima@gmail.com. Paypal address: littlehirosima@gmail.com.

Please label contributions for these families “firewood”.



Children and Diabetes

The pudgy-cheeked pup on the photo was born in Lugansk already during the war. Sasha very recently found herself in a hospital. They found diabetes, before that she was in emergency rooms three times.
Unfortunately, LPR diabetes problems have gotten much worse. The number of insulin-dependent patients is growing rapidly. What can one say. It all comes down to–“war”.
Now the kid has to take insulin shots. It’s issued for free (though they say there might be problems with deliveries of certain kinds before the New Year). But test strips or glucose meters are another story–parents have to buy those themselves. The girl can’t survive if her sugar can’t be monitored.
Initially one needs lots of strips. Usually a diabetic uses two packets a month. But newly diagnosed ones four or five…Test strips cost 1100 rubles per packet in Lugansk. Often much more.
And one must remember that the average LPR salary is about 5,000. Which is the entire income of Sasha’s family.
The girl’s mom is panicking, since she has no idea where to get the money. But they must find them–that’s the new reality. And in addition to the test strips, they have to buy food, pay for utilities.
We got them a glucose meter and some test strips, our friends delivered them to the hospital where Sasha is a patient.


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Helping the Hospice

Friends!
Thanks to everyone who responded to our call for help for the Novosvetlovka hospice in LPR.
Our hospice, if one may use that term. The hospice where our Lilya departed. A place were people depart.
This is a new ward in the Novosvetlovka hospital, replacing the maternity ward. We’ve been helping it since it opened in early 2016. The money we’ve collected was used to buy cleaning agents and powders which are in short supply.

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Our Vika

We’ve been helping Vika for over three years now. We’re helping her and her mom. They live in Lugansk, LPR.
She has diabetes and lost her eyesight. Had TB. Lost a brother, also a diabetic.
That’s the short version.
Why did she lose her eyesight?
Sometime ago I wrote a post about how my nephew asked about her and her eyesight, why she lost it, I curtly replied “war”.
It’s probably the most accurate answer and it’s hard to add anything to it. Even though my posts about Vika are visited by the “all-knowing” who tell me the war had nothing to do with it, it’s Vika own fault and her mom’s too. That they inject insulin improperly, monitor blood sugar improperly, etc. I even stopped getting angry reading these comments. Although initially I would try, with shaking hands, explain how difficult it was to get insulin in LPR in ’14 and ’15. Explain what it’s like to live with no money and ability to buy even test strips. When you are alone, without a husband, with a bedridden mother, and your son is dying. When there is bombing, when you are sitting in a cellar. But I stopped.
You read a post about Vika about once a month on this blog. We’ve been through a lot in these three years. If you want to know more, click on the “Vika” tag at the bottom of this post.

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Unwanted

My book was read by a girl whom we’re helping who lives in Lugansk. But she lived for a long time on UAF-controlled territory. She was forced to flee. Her letter is below the post.
I didn’t want to write some truth in my book so that someone would believe in something.
But sometimes I want to scream at everyone who writes that Russian forces are fighting against “unfortunate” Ukraine. WAKE UP!!! Nobody wants these people. Nobody!
Ukraine only wants the territory, land, and to hell with the people. Especially with some “separatists, whose own fault it all is”.
Putin? Does Putin need them? It’s clear he does not.
Inhabitants of LDPR are surviving and dying for the fifth year running. It’s no secret that getting Russian citizenship is a difficult procedure which not everyone can undertake. These people can’t normally settle in Russia. Hundreds, if not thousands, have returned and are continuing to return. Some, of course, got lucky, some got citizenship. I know such people. But there are far more who didn’t. Families with multiple children, with the disabled, single moms–where are they to go?
Unwanted. Therefore forced to struggle over there.

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Oksana

Oksana’s husband went off to the militia almost at once, in ’14. He died on May 9, 2015. This was too much to bear for Oksana, she cut herself away from the outside world. No, she did not go insane. She feeds her kids, talks. But it’s as if she’s living in her own world, not ours. I didn’t see her, our friends went to visit. Zhenya was naturally struck taken aback when he met her. He says that it’s as if he wasn’t talking to her but to a shroud. “Quiet, monotonous, correct speech. But without emotion, empty…”

On the photo, her kids, Masha born in 2010, and Kolya, 2012.

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