Inna had died on Sunday, on Easter.
Zhenya has a lump in his throat can’t find the strength to say anything. I don’t have a lump, nor do I have tears. Only the desire to slap upside the head everyone who complains about their life.
I realize almost nobody will read the story of Inna’s family.
Because the situation was so hopeless it was hard to believe. The frightful diagnoses, illnesses, incurably ill children, disabled parents, and war.
And I’m not angry you don’t read such stories.
That’s normal. I wouldn’t read them either. I would have preferred to not know about them, but life decided otherwise.
Those things from which I turned my head away my whole conscious life is now right in front of me.
Inna and son Egor.
People like Sofia make an impression. They do, because they believe in a better future when there are no chances for one. Or perhaps they don’t believe, but act in such a way that nobody suspects otherwise.
Her room is a dark lair with no light. Or, rather, there is light, but when you are there you think you are somewhere deep underground, with the only light coming from candles.
When we came to visit, we walked down long and cold catacomb-like corridors, until we entered a room redolent of urine and hidden from the world behind a rug.
When Vika returned to Lugansk after her operation in Moscow, to be honest, we had no idea what would come next.
Upon discharge, she was prescribed a long list of antibiotics and hard-hitting TB drugs. She has to keep taking them for about a year, otherwise the surgery and the six months at the clinic will have been a waste of time. Almost none of these drugs can be obtained in Lugansk. Not only are they not dispensed at hospitals, they can’t be purchased either.
I’m at a loss for words.
On the photo below: Vika in June 2014. Before the bombardment of Lugansk.
A whole another person…
On September 29, DPR authorities issued a “temporary regulation” which basically makes private humanitarian operations impossible. The volunteer community is aghast. It was always difficult to bring anything in–crossing the border was always a major challenge. Now all the aid is to be monitored during the distribution as well. Which means that the authorities will be controlling every aspect of aid. Including where it comes from, where it’s going, and who is receiving it.
There are also bad news concerning the arrest of Aleksey Smirnov, the renowned humanitarian worker.
That put me in a pessimistic mood, to the point of having thoughts about letting the whole thing go.
But the universe sent me several signals. You read about one of them earlier, concerning the little Kolya.
Here’s a second one.
This is Ira from Lugansk, who has had a bout with cancer, and I’ve written about her before. She has two daughters and she needs medicine for treatment, but the family can’t afford them at all. Now Ira is in our care.
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.
Dear friends, we have not so good news concerning our Vika from Lugansk.
Recently the pressure within her eye has increased and she has been hospitalized with glaucoma.
She’s in extreme pain and is on painkillers. She was operated on yesterday, because the pain became unbearable.
Out of the good news, we collected 45 thousand rubles for medicaments, which we purchased and delivered to her already in Lugansk.
–Where are you going? The Ukies are only less than a klick away! We’ll all die!
The road and the trees lining it all bear marks of shrapnel. My hands are starting to shake in panic.
–We missed the turn!
–Don’t freak out, it’s been quiet here for a long time!
We approach the checkpoint, a young guy with a cigarette comes out. He squints from the bright sun and asks in amazement:
–Where are you going?
–To the madhouse.
–Well, you came to the right place, but if you mean the clinic, you need to turn around and then turn right.
Ira is quite young, she’s not yet 32 but she already has cancer. One, of course, could say it’s a disease that can be encountered everywhere. But I know very well the war has played its part here. Ira lives in LPR.
The terrible ailment was discovered during a c-section. Second-degree cancer of the ovaries. It was not detected earlier during the pregnancy. Anechka is now one year old, and the father is taking care of her. In addition to Anya, Ira also has the older daughter Nastya, who’s 9. The father is an ambulance paramedic, who spent the whole war going to and fro to save people.
Those who were in Lugansk during the slaughter of the summer of 2014, know what it was like…
Vika went home. To Lugansk.
After six months of treatment, including a lung surgery, she went home.
We brought Vika to Moscow to restore her eyesight, but in the process discovered TB with which she was struggling that entire time. TB was defeated, but nothing could be done about her eyes…
The process turned out to be irreversible.