The Mihajlova family is a family with two daughters, they come from Donetsk and belong to the Greek Catholic community. In summer 2014 they had to flee from Donetsk to Dnepr. The financial situation of the family was very difficult, as the father could only find work occasionally (no permanent employment) and the mother could not go to work, as she had to take care of her younger daughter Maria, who was barely one year old in 2014, and her older daughter Marina, who was in need of care. Marina was born in 2011 with a deformed spine. She underwent surgery immediately after her birth. The surgery allowed Marina to walk now, but side effects caused insensitivity in the pelvic area and led to incontinence. Marina therefore needs diapers and catheters to be able to lead a reasonably normal life.
According to the doctors, Marina’s case is not hopeless, but her recovery will only be possible after a long series of operations and medical rehabilitation. The costs of such operations exceed the possibilities of a small association like ours, so our help consists of a monthly contribution that covers the costs of diapers and catheters. In 2016, the amount was 70 Euros. The father found a job in 2017, and since 2018 the family receives 40 Euros per month from us.
In September 2018 Marina attended the general education school in the Dnepr. The company of the other children had a positive effect on her psychological condition; Marina enjoyed learning, made progress and did not concentrate only on her illness. Unfortunately, Marina is often ill in winter, and in November 2018 she had to undergo surgery to have her tonsils removed.
To strengthen the pelvic organs and muscles, the doctor advised her to go inline skating. This is hard for Marina, as her coordination is too weak for such exercises, but she still trains every day. Marina dreams of a complete recovery and we hope that the medication will help her.
In the winter of 2019 Marina was operated in a specialized Moscow clinic. The cost of the operation was covered by Caritas. The operation went well, but Marina will have to undergo several more surgeries until she is cured. In addition, she needs catheters and diapers every 2-3 hours for night and school.
Marina’s mother wrote us in January 2019: “Thank you for not forgetting our daughter and for helping us so much. The thought that we will not be left alone gives us the strength to keep fighting.”
In 2020, Marina’s school life has deteriorated – the children are getting older and many cannot understand why such a big girl still needs diapers, and so they harass her. As a result, Marina had to change classes.
Another operation was planned for spring 2020 but was cancelled due to the COVID 19 pandemic.
In addition, Marina’s father lost many work orders, Marina’s mother accidentally broke her left hand and had a concussion. Furthermore, the living situation of the Mihajlova family is not stable – the owners of the rented apartment want to sell it and the family has to find a new home. Marina’s mother writes us: “This year 2020 has brought us nothing but difficulties. But thank God we are still alive. And we thank you for your help and support.”