Nursing Programme – Vesnova
DASHA AND TATIANA
“I’m not a complainer. That’s pointless. But it seems like nothing is ever easy for us.” Tatiana looks down at her 11 year old daughter, Dasha, who is following our movements with a big smile and wide blue eyes. Dasha has cerebral palsy, and is intellectually disabled. She lives with her mother and father, her grandmother, and her young twin sisters in Minsk, Belarus. She is part of Chernobyl Children International’s Community Care program.
“She was born healthy. The whole nightmare began when she was a little over a year old. She was teething and developed a terrible fever. We took her to the hospital, and before they lowered her fever she lost consciousness. They told me that she lost the oxygen supply to her brain for a while. But she seemed fine when she woke up, and we thought everything was OK.” “I guess she seemed a little developmentally delayed.
Then, when she was four, she lost interest in her toys, and in playing. She started having horrible seizures. And she just stopped developing. I realized at that point, that this would be a long term condition.” “We were grief stricken, but we immediately started to research how we might keep her from getting worse. She started developing scoliosis.” “Dasha was denied access to treatment at every clinic because of her mental disability. Only Chernobyl Children International was there to help us.”
Chernobyl Children International’s Community Care program gives parents the support they need to take care of their seriously ill and disabled children at home, rather than place them in an institution. “With scoliosis, physical therapy is absolutely essential. They also send her an occupational therapist, and a massage therapist.
They train me on how to work with her on a daily basis. The massage helps relax her muscles and keeps her joints from stiffening. Now a speech therapist is coming. We’re trying to help her communicate to let us know what she needs; for example, when she is hungry, or needs to be taken to the toilet. All of these things are a huge help to us, and to our family.”
“It’s really hard time for us as a family. But we have a lot to be thankful for — we have a close family and wonderful neighbours. Please tell the people at CCI how grateful we are for their help.”