In May, through ServeNow’s Containers of Hope ministry, many wheelchairs have been distributed to bless and serve those who are disabled. Thanks to generous partners, medical equipment has also been donated to poorly funded hospitals and medical clinics, benefiting patients in need. Below are more details as well as stories from those who have been recipients. The impact that a container can make in the lives of those who are in need is absolutely amazing! How many lives are you impacting?
In the psycho-neurological “boarding hospital” (long-term hospital) in Kherson,there are 450 single women and girls who were abandoned by relatives. Most of the patients have serious diseases, many of them are in wheelchairs, and some are bedridden. These patients are rarely visited by relatives. Their lives are very uneventful; most of the time there is nothing to do, and they never have a chance to go outside. Last week, the staff of ServeNow visited them and delivered some humanitarian aid from Sweden.
Here are some of their stories:
Natalia is a 35-year-old orphan. When she was 18 years old, she was transferred from the orphanage she had grown up in, to this boarding hospital for disabled people. She has been here ever since. No one has ever visited her. Natalia never travels outside the boarding hospital. She has problems with her feet and therefore cannot get around. It was such a big help and support for her to receive a good wheelchair! Natalia is by nature cheerful and optimistic, she loves to knit, but that is rarely possible because the orphanage lacks the materials she needs. Natalia is very grateful for the help and attention ServeNow was able to give her.
Alla is 38 years old and has been at this boarding hospital for 20 years. Alla has not been able to use her legs since childhood. She never had a family; she has spent all her life at a boarding school or orphanage. No one ever comes to visit her. This boarding hospital has a great need for clothing, blankets, pillows and other female items. Alla and the other residents in her ward received blankets, pillows, bed linen and clothes. They are very grateful for the help and attention.
Irina is 63 years old and a lawyer by profession. After Irina became seriously ill, relatives sent her to this long-term hospital and have not visited her at all. Irina cannot walk due to a serious illness in her joints. She needs constant care. Irina has been at the hospital for three years already. Last week she received a mobile toilet. This will be a great help to her and the staff.
Evdokia, a 78-year-old woman, told us: I got spinal paralysis 1 ½ years ago, and I can’t walk without someone’s help. I have not been able to go outside for more than a year. Evdokia lives with her husband Ivan, also 78 years old, who was looking after her. But 9 months ago he had a stroke, and now he needs help as well. He has a hard time getting around, because he is almost blind. Evdokia and Ivan had two sons, but they both died. Evdokia said: Thank you so much for this wheelchair. You can’t imagine how much this will help us! I will be able to spend some time outdoors. I have not received much help from anyone, not from the government either. Thank God for those who heard about my family’s problems and connected us with ServeNow Ukraine. Evdokia is so relieved to be able to go outside again and to talk with her neighbors.
Rostislav was diagnosed with an incurable disease at birth. Immediately after the birth of Rostislav, his father left the family, and his mother had to raise her son by herself. During this time, Rostislav’s mother was forced to work three jobs so she could take care of the baby. Unfortunately, Rostislav’s health did not improve, and it was apparent that he needed around the clock care. Throughout most of his years, he had an old wheelchair that not only broke down frequently, but also was too small for him. His family didn’t have the money to buy a new wheelchair, and the local government could not help them either. Because of this, there were many months where Rostislav couldn’t even go outside.
Last week, ServeNow volunteers brought Rostislav a new wheelchair and several hygiene products. I was feeling overwhelmed, I have not been able to go outside for a long time. I hadn’t even dared to dream about it. It was especially difficult to see how my mother suffered as a result of my inability to move. Thank you for giving me hope and faith. Your help is invaluable to me, shared Rostislav.
Larisa lives with her mother, and both of them are disabled. Their lives are very difficult. Larisa was raised without a father, and she has had to work hard from a very young age. She had to take care of her sick mother and her two younger sisters. Larisa ended up getting sick and had to spend a long time in the hospital. Sadly, she hasn’t been able to get better, and since then she has been going back and forth between medical institutions to ask for not only medicine, but also a wheelchair.
Larisa received a much-needed wheelchair and other hygiene products. All my life I worked hard and when I became sick, I was useless, and there was no help. I just cannot express in words how grateful I am to those who helped me. I thank them and wish good things back to them a hundredfold, Larissa said when she received her wheelchair.
Through this last container, medical equipment was also distributed among various hospitals and clinics.
Here is what Vasily Yurchenko said: We received 18 beds for our gerontology center in Kiev. At the center, people are being treated after a stroke. It is a public institution, we see people from different levels of society, and from all regions of Ukraine. This state organization is very poorly funded, all the equipment and furniture is very old, and there was no hope for change in the next 10 years. I am a volunteer helper at this center. My mother suffered two strokes, that’s how I found out about this center. It was obvious that this center has great needs. Now we received 18 hospital beds which is such a blessing to the patients here! This will last us for a long time. Many thanks to all who gave and helped.