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Looking at Nikita’s joyful smile and affectionate eyes, nobody could even surmise, that this child is seriously and incurably ill.
Four years old Nikita lives with his mother, aunt, grandmother and little sister in the two-rooms flat. His father disappeared right after his sister Elina was born. Nikita’s mother Irina does not get any help from her former civil husband.
The boy did not reach an age of 6 months, when the doctors ventilated an ominous diagnosis - cerebral spastic infantile paralysis. Fatal flow of the doctor delivering a child and a sequent birth injury – those are the awful components of his disease.
Cerebral paralysis is one of the most common congenital (existing before birth or at birth) disorders of childhood, but many apparently hopelessly distorted cases can be put upon their feet.
«Nikita has already transmitted one surgery – and it really gave a result! » - says Nikita’s mother Irina. – «It is clear, that his illness is incurable, but there are ways to improve a state of a boy’s health quite significantly, to give him an opportunity of the almost full-fledged life”.
The main problem is that Nikita needs a permanent medical assistance – this is the only way not just to get new results, but also not to lose the previous ones. But the full-value treatment demands financial means, which Irina doesn’t have in her disposal.
“Easier, quicker, and better rectification is secured by surgical measures than by mechanical ones in the case of this boy”. – said the family doctor. - “Immediate rectification, which is possible, should be provided in order to save pain and time. It may well be that he will be able to walk, even though imperfectly”.
Last year, Irina gave birth to a little girl, Nikita’s sister Elina. Today the girl is nine moths old. Because of the nervous and physical overloads, Irina had a preterm delivery. As a result, her daughter was born with a very low weight (less than one and a half kilogram) and with the diagnosis “encephalopathy of newborn”. Now Elina is under the permanent control of neuropathologist.
Nikita is surprisingly affectionate and affable child. Taking into account his diagnosis, the boy has quite a lot of skills and knowledge. He knows the alphabet and can recognize written words, but because of the delay in speech development, he cannot deliver them aloud. He can count and he likes to play in children’s table games.
Irina does not work now – she can’t leave her children for a long time. Elina is still on a breast-feeding, and Nikita needs a special care. The only getters in the family are Nikita’s deaf and dumb grandmother, who works as a charwoman and Nikita himself – he gets a pension of $35 monthly. The total income of a family which consists of five members is $80 per month, $10 of which is spent for utilities.
“Just don’t think, that I complain about the difficulties in our life!” Irina suddenly frowns. “Undoubtedly, we are in a very complicated situation. But we will survive”.
Before Elina was born, Irina worked as a teacher of Hebrew in a Jewish school. She perfectly speaks three languages – Hebrew, French and Romanian.
“I could work as a translator at home, but I don’t have a computer”, says Irina. “I’m really afraid I can lose my skills in languages”.
Since 2006, members of Nikita’s family are the clients of “NES”. In the framework of children’s project Nikita and Elina get humanitarian and food aid. Under the “hire program”, Nikita obtained a wheel-chair and his sister received a bassinet.
The family has a permanent contact with the social worker. Besides that, they have assistance in obtaining Jewish education and upbringing. The family is offered to attend a “Family club” with the purpose of junction to the Jewish culture and traditions, to participate in life of the Jewish community. They also were offered to have a rest in the integration camp.
“Let my children grow” – this is a slogan of the Jewish family service “NES”. Nobody can commit a miracle and turn the time back, to return to that terrible day, when the fatal flow of the doctor made Nikita’s life null and void. But the main achievement for today is that the boy is alive and even happy in his own way. They will survive.
By Sonya Ghitenshtein, volunteer KJJC