Vitaliy and his family lost everything. Yet they were among the first who stood up to defend what they believed in. Vitaliy joined the militia in the spring of 2014. Now they are without home and without health. Their son has been constantly losing consciousness after he and his mother were kept in a cellar for a whole day by the SBU, having to hold their hands over their heads. After captivity, and after Natasha and their son spent six months in hiding, the family has made it to Lugansk. But their house is “over there.”
We wrote about them recently, and that post really resonated. I’m glad that because of that response we were able to help them. And we continue to do so. Zhenya and Lena have done a ton of work. They take them to hospitals, clinics. As of right now, the matter of passports is moving forward, and they should be issued in near future.
Vitaliy may even manage to get work (the process is ongoing).
But the main thing is that now they have hope. They were deeply depressed when we first met them.
They didn’t expect help. So many journalists photographed and wrote about them. But no aid followed.
I want to thank once again all of our people. Thank you for the responses, for comments, and especially for the money that you contributed for this family. I am at a loss for words. Thank You!
Zhenya, who’s been seeing this family the whole month, said this: “Dunya, they are finally smiling. That’s a lot.”
Zhenya wrote: “We organized an MRI for her, and a scan of blood vessels of the neck and brain. It showed that she has a cyst in the nasal cavity. No problem with her veins and brain. It’s that cyst that’s causing the pain. We talked to a very good doctor. We’ll take her to him next week. Natalya is very afraid…It’s a consequence of what she lived through. Because there’s nothing really to fear. The cyst is a minor problem, all things considered. Natasha said: “after all we’ve lived through, I thought I would be afraid of nothing, but now…it turns out I fear the hospital like nothing else.”
The whole family accompanied her to the hospital.
The doctor inspected the bumps on her head that appeared after the butt blows. He had some clever name for them and said it’s best not to touch them because a surgery could unleash something worse.
When Natasha underwent the MRI and the whole family waited for results, she told us about how she was evacuated from captivity. They were unofficially exchanged on a bridge. Both the Ukrainians and they were afraid. The Ukrainian officer was accompanied by his wife, and she hugged him and made the sign of the cross before he entered the bridge. There were tears in her eyes. Everyone was afraid. From our side, when they were meeting the freed people, it was clear everyone’s adrenaline was off the scale. It seems there were precedents, and such unofficial exchanges are a very frequent occurrence.”
The boy was taken to a neuropathologist to help with his black-outs.
Zhenya: “They did an encephalogram and checked the eye cavities. They found pathologies, but said the main reason is psychosomatic. The result of suffered stress. She said that if they came as soon as it stopped, everything would have been over by now. She prescribed a pile of medications and we paid for them.
Natasha broke down after the doctor visit. She cried and hugged Lena. ‘If it weren’t for you..nobody needs us, thank you for putting up with us.'”
Brought food several times.
Here’s how I want to end this post: Natasha, during Lena’s latest visit, said:
“We’ve been coming to you for two years…For two years they did nothing but PR off us, but you…”
The people now have hope, because they met people who care. That’s probably more important than anything else. I know from my own experience how important it is when people pay attention to you, when you see that you are important, that people worry about you, that someone needs you.”
This is a family that only needs a stretched out hand in order to get up, and will take care of the rest themselves. There are people who have to be pulled along. They can’t cope on their own. But here it’s all different.
Thank you, everyone! For your caring! Your help! For everything!
And, most importantly, thanks to Lena and Zhenya who were so worried for them, took them wherever they needed to go and took care of them like family.