The Power of Internet!

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.

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From Havana!

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!


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How did the surgery go?

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.

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It’s a miracle!

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.

Infant Pathology Ward

One of the Lugansk maternity wards also has an infant pathology ward. It treats premature babies and infants with serious illnesses. Sometimes it also takes case of abandoned infants until they are sent to an orphanage.
Kiryukha was there once, remember?
The ward receives ordinary humanitarian aid–standard baby food, diapers, though sometimes it’s at the end of the list–whatever’s left over. It means that sometimes it gets really large diapers, too large for a premature infant. Such are the times: war.
As I wrote above, the ward receives unusual children, often with major illnesses. Sometimes they are abandoned by their parents because they have no way of helping the babies. That’s how we started helping the ward, after they requested a special formula for Kirill. None of what they had was suitable. Zhenya and Lena barely found it in Lugansk, after visiting every store and warehouse.
And now they called us again.
Recently the ward received a seriously ill girl. Or, rather, an illness she got because of her mother. She needs antibiotics which are not available in LPR. Couldn’t find them in Russia, either. We had to get them through Ukraine.
I won’t describe how exactly we obtained them–it was a rather complex task, considering what you know about that war.
And of course we also brought diapers, formula, which are always in short supply there.

Debts

I have not been to the Donbass for a year.
It’s been a year since the last time I saw its steppes, heard incoming shells at night, saw faces of people dear to me.
“Dunyash, when, when?”
Zhenya and Lena are doing a great job without me. We’ve developed an aid system almost to perfection.
Our team understands one another without words. My presence on the spot is no longer indispensable.
But I have debts.


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Rodion is in Moscow!

Hurrah!
Rodion arrived in Moscow from Lugansk on April 15 in order to undergo a very complex and expensive operation–a cochlear implant.
Rodion is 2.5 years old and was born deaf. This is a costly procedure which entails implanting a hearing device. The sooner it’s done, the more likely the implant is to be accepted, and the boy regaining his hearing.
Thanks to our Irina Bednova, the boy will have this operation for free.
Unfortunately, for objective reasons, we were not able to admit him yesterday. Not all the analyses and mother’s information came in. We had to pay for some additional tests instead.


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“Where are we to run to?”

Ira was pregnant when Lugansk was being wiped out. She is from the long-suffering Vergunka which is still on the “separation” line. When she realized she can’t stay home, she took her daughter and went to Lugansk to “wait it out”. There was no place else to go.
It was too late to leave the region, the husband was nowhere to be seen–and still isn’t.
Ira says that she wrote to her daughter a couple of times through social media. That’s all.
Indeed, why bother? He’s got a new life, without children and destroyed homes, where fighting can start again at any moment.
Ira then went to Lugansk, and when she returned the home half-destroyed. The roof and walls collapsed, all windows were broken. The house itself was thoroughly looted, down to forks and rugs. .
Please forgive me this preamble–I wrote about this woman many times. But maybe she was forgotten, and others have not read about her. So one has to periodically remind. We met Ira by accident–we were bringing aid to the neighbors.
Since the we’ve been helping her too, though Ira herself never calls to say what her problems are. Thanks to you, we’ve managed to fix up the house, get a boiler, buy clothes, dishes, food, medications.
Ira’s situation remains hard–she’s alone with the children. Many health problems.
And most importantly, they are still shooting there. Their house is on the very edge of Ukrainian advance. No cellar.
Do you know what Vika, her daughter, said after one of the bombardments?
“Mom, relax. Where are we to run to? What happens, happens.”

We help every day

These are people under our constant care–there are two stories in this post.
Stories of those who suffer. Who can’t cope on their own.
In this blog, most stories are about people who can’t cope on their own…
Some chide me that there aren’t enough positive stories. What can one say? I agree. Not many positive stories because where things are going well, I and my team aren’t needed.
But the stories which you read are not the most tragic if only because they us.
And yes, we help every day, regardless of whether I write about it every day.
Behind each such post there is tremendous effort by many people.
Please read.
Our Natasha with epilepsy. The husband died in ’14. She had a swelling on her head, required trepanning. Now about a quarter of the head is covered with plastic. Two kids, destroyed home, disabled mother. It’s all on the shoulders of this one woman, sometimes one can’t believe such things are possible(((
We’ve been helping her fro a long time.
It’s difficult to find work with such diagnoses. People get fired after one epileptic fit. She didn’t have the before the war, but after…After, I think, there is no need to explain.
Natasha once again needs help with the treatment.


She now has a swelling on the lower jaw. Lymph nodes.
She got a prescription. We got her what she needed for one round of treatment, but she’ll need 14 more ((((
That’s simply unaffordable for Natasha.
If it weren’t for you, it’s hard to imagine what would have happened to her last year.


Medications are not extremely costly, but a large amount is needed constantly.
And yes, she also has a disabled mother and two kids to care for.
She turned 35 on March 21.
She was born the same year I was.
And I can’t simply imagine what it means to be in the midst of war, alone with children.
Without a husband and in such poor health.

Please label contributions for her “Natasha”.
She really needs our help now.
Everything goes for the medications.
But she also needs to eat, feed and clothe the children.

 


These are our sisters. Or, rather, it’s the older Marina with her mom after a stroke. The mother which abandoned them, forcing them to survive on their own. What a turn-about.
Things like that happen.
They happen because there are amazing people. And our sisters are the most amazing. I’m writing that such thing “happen”, but in reality there are few such people. I’ll be honest–I don’t know how I would have acted in her place. I fear I wouldn’t be as noble.

Our aid during the last four visits.


There are news about the mother. She can sit now. That’s only thanks to the girls who care for her.
Zhenya says that “the doctor who brought them in was surprised: ‘I wouldn’t have expected it’. She still has problems on the right side. Especially the hand. It’s swelling, there is no movement or sensitivity. There is sharp pain when they try to establish movement in the right shoulder joint”.


The girls live on Marina’s salary. Alyona goes to school.
The mother requires serious care.
That’s how things are.

Please label contributions for the girls “sisters”.

Friends, thank you for reading this, thank you for your help and caring!

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

 

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Looked up word: Friends, thank you for reading this, thank you for your help and caring!

Larisa…

Dear Lord, I don’t know what to say.
My hands are dropping.
We visited Larisa, the mother, and Marina in Lugansk in the spring of 2017. Very pleasant, bright people with a hard fate. Marina was 13 then. I remember her modest but hard gaze: “I’m not afraid of anything, my father died in my arms.” Cancer…They know what war is. They had “incoming” during the entire summer and fall, when the father was dying…
Their life was difficult, we brought them a lot of food and clothing. The girls’ sight began to deteriorate, we helped buy glasses and carry out tests. They gave us tea and didn’t want to see us leave.
Larisa is a very attractive woman, modest and soft, she really wanted to repay us somehow.
And then…
We haven’t spoken to each other in a long time. It turns out they lost our phone. Lena happened to be driving by so dropped in to see how things were going…
And…she couldn’t recognize Larisa. The woman burned out in three months! Simply burned out.
Look at the photos.

Spring 2017


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