Many got weary of my posts.
Fed up with reading them.
How much can one take?
I myself got tired of writing them.
But it’s not simply “how much can one take?” but “how much is needed”–a lot is needed, a lot.
The war’s in its sixth year.
Those who were infants when the first bombardments began will soon go to school. In the border areas, kids no longer even react to shelling but continue to play in the trenches.
And…information continues to flow.
For yet another time, I want to say that reposts work. Even simple likes work.
Very, very much.
And thanks to all those who, in spite of fatigue, don’t stop liking and reposting.
On more than one occasion, relatives were able to locate their family members from my posts.
And today I want to tell you one of these stories.
Do you remember Irina Grigoryevna? She came from Russia before the war (she lived in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy) to visit daughter and grandson in Lugansk. Then the war started. Son in law died in a bombardment in August 2014 in Lugansk. The wife howled when she recognized the corpse. It is then that she withdrew into herself. They say “she lost her mind” and has been in a clinic ever since.
The grandmother was left alone with the grandson. She lost her documents during the shelling. Or maybe they were stolen–nobody knows.
She couldn’t return to Russia without documents, or obtain new documents.
So she couldn’t draw retirement or benefits.
The story of two sisters from Lugansk living on their own has touched many. My friend went to buy them winter boots, a neighbor regularly send them money. One reader offered to fully pay for the older sister’s university education. In the sense that, if she’s admitted to one, to cover her expenses so that she wouldn’t need to work but only study. An Australian named Denis who doesn’t know the Russian language almost regularly helps them financially. He reads my blog through Google Translate(!). Our Boris from Kazan bought them a water heater to ensure they have hot water. We’ve all collected money to cover their utility debts from the past several years, including for the period they didn’t live at that address. Her mother lived there and amassed such debt that there always existed a threat of water and power cut-off.
I don’t know how I would have acted in their place. I’ve met few people in my life like them.
Alyona and Marina are one of a kind.
I haven’t written a long time about orphanages. What new is there to write?
First of all, LPR has functioning civil courts again. It means that issues of adoption, guardianship, depriving of parental rights, etc., can be addressed. It’s a serious problem which left tens of kids in a state of uncertainty. There are huge waiting lists of cases, but that’s less important. What is important is that there’s movement.
When it comes to supplies, the situation is also pretty good. In any event, establishments such as orphanages, shelters, old age homes, psycho-neurological wards are very well provided with food. I remember well how we visited a boarding house back in ’15, where there was only flour and canned meat. We brought apples and oranges, with the director despairing that the kids haven’t eaten any “vitamins” in several months. There was nothing back then.
Problems rather lie elsewhere. In hospices, hospitals–they nearly always have shortages of diapers, washing supplies, powders.
Children’s establishments there’s always a shortage of clothes, materials for arts adn crafts, books, textbooks. All of it burns, or gets broken. They cope as best they can.
On the photo, the Lugansk rehab center. We’ve written about it several times.
Zhenya recently brought them books donated by my readers.
A miracle happened!
Aleksey was operated on and…he’s not merely alive, not merely conscious.
Everything turned out perfect!
Aleksey quickly recovered. A day later he was sitting, eating, walking. Things developed so rapidly that he was discharged on June 11, though we were expecting him to say there for at least another week. But, as the experts said in the end, there is no need for him to say longer, his condition was good, so he could go home.
We sent Aleksey home, together with his wife Tanya.
And by “we” I mean our Sasha, who took them to the bus station.
They are already back in Lugansk, are recovering, and can’t believe what just happened.
I’m posting an endless quantity of photos of Vika where she’s smiling.
She does, in fact, smile. Every time we brought aid, she’s joyful. Sincerely, earnestly. This is not a forced smile in front of a camera. She’s genuinely happy. Because of the aid, of us, and of your constant attention…
But I don’t know what to do.
I don’t know how to grab the tail of the nightmare which is following this girl.
We met on May of ’16 in Lugansk when she was on the brink of death. Unfortunately, that’s no figure of speech. She started to lose eyesight, two of her front teeth fell out, her thyroid gland was out of control and, most awfully–she lost the will to live. We’ve been fighting for Vika ever since.
We took her to Moscow. Her lungs were operated on since it turned out she had TB. Bought a huge amount of expensive meds. Her eyes and gynecology were also operated on. Constant hospitalizations. In the end she lost her sight and her health continue to crumble. We buy her all the medications she needs. We also get her food, insulin, test strips. But it doesn’t help! Vika has diabetes and, let me tell you, it’s a terrible illness. I can’t even guess the extent. It does not forgive mistakes. You simply have no right to make mistakes, and your whole life becomes a struggle for it. Diabetes did not forgive Vika that spring when she did not eat and simply lay in bed. It did not forgive those few weeks when her brother died, when she did not want to live. When she stopped eating. Terrible processes got underway which we are trying to arrest. But we are not succeeding.
We’re not giving up, we’re fighting. But I don’t know. That’s the truth.
The previous post was about how Vika had an emergency hospitalization due to a burst ovary cyst. It was operated on.
And now I’m writing about Vika’s kidneys failing. Her mom is in panic. One kidney already failed, the second one is in bad shape.
Together with Sasha Shaskova we ran all over Moscow to get the needed medications which can’t be obtained in LPR. She needs to take them for several days (shown on the last photo).
But Vika continues to smile on all the photos. Our Bellflower. Our very own Bellflower.
Beautiful, young, joyful.
How the hell is one to write about it?
What is there to say?
Our Seryoga is like a smokestack.
No matter what we do, it doesn’t help.
–Seryozha, what should we bring?
His eyes are full of yearning so that there’s nothing you can do to resist. –“Cigarettes, Dunyasha”.
–There are few pleasures in the retirement home. But you know what is the biggest one? Every morning I brew coffee, then I take my tank out into the stairwell and draw on a cigarette…Mmm…
“Tank” is his term for the electric wheelchair.
And you know, he tells you this story with his eyes half-closed, with a sweet smile melting across his face, as if he were resting on a beach, with the ocean licking his heels.
So we gave it a collective shrug. Although, to be honest, his health is not exactly very good. Everyone is trying to get him to stop–the doctors, the retirement home staff. Seryozha has polyarthritis, last year he had a heart attack. Not a laughing matter.
But as soon as I remember his “mmm…” with half-closed eyes, I can’t join in. He’s been smoking his whole life, the devil.
And he smokes the nastiest stuff he can find.
So recently I got a message from Boris. Boris from Kazan who bought a boiler for our sisters and provided the intensive care department with powders and cleaning supplies. And in general regularly helps people in our care. So he says “Dunya, I’m in Cuba right now. Are any of ours smokers? I could bring a cigar…”
Boris! Remembered! About the people we care after! While in Cuba!
One doesn’t want to say anything prematurely.
One becomes superstitious, afraid to say to much.
My phone has been ringing off the hook: “how did the surgery go?”
Aleksey from Lugansk was operated on by some of the best neurosurgeons in Moscow.
The surgery lasted 5 hours.
To say it was very complex would be an understatement. I wrote in an earlier post it’s the most complex existing surgery. More so than a heart surgery. He had a trepanation done and, in rough terms, his blood vessel was put “back in the right place”.
Aleksey had an aneurysm and two attacks, and it’s a miracle he survived.
Tanya, his wife, says the surgeons were very concerned both before and after the operation.
Here it is, the power of networks!
So I write a post in mid-May. Folks, we need a printer for Infant Pathology! And inhalators, syringes, mixtures, diapers. All of that is badly needed!
And I instantly get a response.
There is a printer. Brand new, still in the unopened box. In Karelia.
It means Natalya is writing me.
So I write back, clarify. While I do that, the printer arrives in Moscow. Our Sasha met it there and sent to Lugansk. Even as I was writing her, she surprised me by writing that it was already sent off. Wow.
I’m again running back and forth. And now Zhenya is sending me photos from Lugansk showing a happy ward director with the printer.
Oh, so it was already delivered. Then the director called in a shock–“there’s also a scanner? a new one?”. Well, not really new, it’s about 10 years old, but never even unpacked.
Our friends arrived not only with the printer but also everything else they were asking for.
The workers there were speechless.
And I’m running back and forth.
You responded so quickly and smoothly, friends. I don’t even know what to say!!!
Fine, I’m also awesome)
Yesterday was crazy. We sent Rodion back to Lugansk after his first cochlear implant tuning and I was keeling over with exhaustion when Ira called.
Ira Bednova is an amazing human being. Widowed by the death of the husband, commander Batman, she’s been active helping people for almost five years. It is only thanks to her that we were able to give Rodion a chance to have his hearing restored, bring Vika to Moscow for treatment, and evacuate Sergey Balanov who had cancer. Ira helped tens of individiuals.
So here’s the phone call:
–Dunya, Aleksey is to be hospitalized on Monday.
I was speechless. And I jumped up like a mountain goat!
Because, my friends, this is a real miracle!
A miracle to which we are witnesses.
Aleksey had an emergency.
I wrote about it in early May.
The young man suffered from an aneurysm. I still don’t understand what that is, but the point is that it has something to do with blood vessels in the head.
He fell and lost consciousness. Then ambulances, tests, and the worrisome diagnosis.
He’s been confined to a bed for months. Any stress or sudden movement could kill him. He’s hanging by a thread.
This requires a surgery which in Donetsk costs serious money (I posted the bill and medical history in the earlier post). Over a million rubles. The family simply doesn’t have that kind of money. Our team is helping many people, but this is not something we could handle. All that time we’ve searched for other options. And Ira is simply our angel.
Only a surgery can save him.
The worst part is that he could die during the operation. Anyone who’s ever had to deal with an aneurysm knows that. It’s a game of chance where no surgeon will guarantee success. But it’s a chance which otherwise wouldn’t exist.
Moreover, he recently experienced another problem.
On May 9 he lost consciousness while his daughter was watching. The aneurysm did not burst but grew by 50%.
He is in extreme pain. He was hospitalized, didn’t eat anything for a week. Received a morphine IV.
And then these news.
I can’t tell what how big a miracle this is.
This tiny apparatus on Rodion’s little ears costs over 700 thousand rubles.
Thanks to this miracle of technology, he can now hear.
–He can already hear?
–Yes, he hears, already hears. But doesn’t understand what.
Rodion had a complicated cochlear implant surgery in April. It’s a miracle which only a few decades ago was impossible.
The boy was born in Lugansk, born deaf. It took a long time to issue the diagnosis. The situation in the region is difficult–isolation, war. What’s there to explain…
No equipment, no specialists who could help the boy. The family did not have the money for the apparatus or surgery.
Thanks to Irina Bednova, we were able to take the boy to Moscow for a free surgery!