There is a hospice in Novosvetlovka. Those who followed the Donbass events of 2014 know this village well. It was a site of heavy fighting. Whole streets became ruins. There are masses of burned out military vehicles, I saw them myself during my first humanitarian aid visits to LPR. After 2014, the village has struggled without electricity or water. It has been gradually restored.
And so was the hospital, which has not shut down for even a minute. Many people found shelter in its cellars.
But the maternity ward was closed, and later a hospice was opened in its place.
Perhaps I’ll tell you about some heroes?
For example, Katya.
She, her two brothers, and a sister with parents are from Voluyskoye, a village currently occupied by the Ukrainian military. During the 2014 offensive their house was destroyed, they survived by a miracle and ran to Russia, to a village near Nizhnyy Novgorod. They found a place there and in general their life returned to normal. The father got a job. Children were studying. But in 2017, at night, their house caught fire due to bad wiring.
It was a miracle Katya woke up. She herself dragged everyone out of the house, they were already unconscious.
She saved five people! This girl here, too embarrassed to look into the camera and pose.
Taisiya Ivanovna is once again in hospital.
She was taken there right from the neuro-pathologist’s office, where she was on a routine visit after the stroke. Her right side started to go numb. So she was taken straight from the office to the hospital ward in the midst of an episode. More medications, more tests.
She’ll be there for two weeks, then the doctors will decide. Our Zhenya persuaded the doctor who saved him and Lena in 2016 to look to Taisiya. You remember, I wrote back then the two of them found themselves at the hospital practically at the same time.
We started to help Taisiya and her grandson only recently. Sasha’s mom and Taisiya’s daughter died from a shell fragment which cut open her belly right in front of the boy. She was hit in 2014, but she suffered for two more years with mangled stomach and intestines which the surgeons had to put back together in primitive conditions at the hospital with no electricity.
Here’s the thing.
I wrote sometime ago that publishers are ready to publish my book about the Donbass titled “People Here” at their own expense, but without photos. They’d publish it with photos only if I covered the cost. Therefore I abandoned that idea, and wrote about it on the blog. On the same day, I received messages from several people asking how much it would cost to publish the book with photos, and offered their financial aid.
This happened during the summer.
We were running from house to house with aid packets when Anna Viktorovna, the director of the Lugansk Children’s Rehab Center, called with an unexpected request. We usually help with food, medicaments, or other necessities. Such as cleaning supplies, diapers, etc., because we grew accustomed to focusing on these key areas. But Anna Viktorovna asked us for glue and wallpaper.
It wasn’t exactly an emergency request but we couldn’t ignore it. Because the center gets no assistance except through volunteers. Anna Viktorovna said that LPR did assign funds for renovating the center, but it was enough just for the basics, and there wasn’t enough for restoring the hallway.
So we grabbed one of their workers and went shopping.
I don’t know where to begin. This is no time for waxing lyrical.
Kolya’s diagnosis runs several pages.
The worst of it is the purulent meningitis of, and a cyst on, the right brain lobe. He’s already head two surgeries in Lugansk.
He’s still alive. He can be saved. But they can’t do anything more for him in Lugansk. He requires a surgery of an entirely different type, a neurosurgery, in a special ward. If he is not taken out, he’ll die.
We’ve known about this case for several weeks, and to be honest, we were hoping to find solutions that did not require money. We were already able to take people to Moscow twice–Vika Zozulina and Sergey Baranov.
But now we were turned down.
The Burdenko clinic says they only accept paying patients.
This is Kolya. You remember him, right?
He decided to help people with their shopping carts in a supermarket in Lugansk.
Kolya is a good-natured and pleasant fat guy with a mental illness.
–Kolya! How’s it going?
In response he makes a friendly hand gesture and jumps up and down with a smile on his face.
I recently received a message from Zhenya, my friend and comrade from Lugansk, with whom we are pursuing this big endeavor.
As usual, the sense of terror makes it impossible to fully realize what is happening, namely that diabetics on the Donbass are constantly dying off.
In March, we were asked to help Kristina, who immediately needed Accu Check test strips. She has a severe case of diabetes which requires that her sugar be constantly monitored. Several people responded to our request for help. They brought so many test strips that about twenty turned out to be in excess (they do have an expiration date).
Thanks to Lena Zhukova, who have us a whole box of glucose meters and test strips by other manufacturers, and responses by other people, we ended up with several boxes of items that are a matter of life and death for diabetics.
Back when we were in Lugansk we found an association of diabetics.
Many thanks to you, Zhenya. One could have simply delivered them to hospitals, but you decided to provide them to those who need these items…Zhenya, we are always so funny, we say “thanks” a thousand times to one another, then “you’re welcome.” And again and again. But how’s one not to say it?
Here’s what he writes:
–You recognized me?
–Little one! Of course!!!
We quickly found Galina Vasilyevna.
One might say it was thanks to her that we started to bring aid to Khryashchevatoye.
We came during the winter, took photos. Destroyed houses, APCs, and chunks of military equipment.
We saw her as she was slowly walking among burned out tanks and shattered fences.
Khryashchevatoye is a small village.
It was small, then it became downright tiny, as most of it turned to ruins…
Half of it still has no electricity. Nobody has running water. Nobody is drawing salaries, pensions, benefits. They live off whatever grows in their gardens and humanitarian aid which rarely reaches them.
Galina Vasilyavna is little, almost puny. One wants to hug her and carry her in one’s arms.
We came as promised.