High in the mountains at the pass that connects Tbilisi to Kakheti, in the dense forest grove there is a lost village of Patanajali. People here are very poor; they are content with little things, and God forbid if a serious disease enters their house.
That's how the Rostiashvili have been living for more than ten years in a depressing state and constant fear. The thing is that 13 years ago little girl Nini was born with a terrible disease – spinal amyotrophy. This insidious disease chained the child to a wheelchair: atrophied muscles, paralyzed feet, almost no ability to speak, but still the girl retained her mental ability. This means that Nini is aware of her helpless and painful condition, which certainly torments her wounded and sensitive soul!
Frequent attacks of suffocation, turning into a piercing cough and fainting, have become an integral part of the life of this innocent sweet girl.
Reading these lines, many of you may have felt a tingling of compassion for the child in your heart. Now imagine what it must be like for her mother, who holds the suffocating body of her own child at least once a week!
46-year-old Asmat Rostiashvili is a true heroine who carries the heavy cross of fate with honor, and if Nini is still alive, it is certainly thanks to the warm caring mother's hands!
We talked to Asmat about her family, her child, her needs, and what our Foundation can do for little Nini:
– Asmat, tell me please, how do you manage to take care of a child, living in terrible poverty?
Asmat: I have dedicated my life to my girl! Yes, she's ill! Yes, she is absolutely helpless, but she is my daughter and I have to do everything to make her live as long as possible. It is very difficult to care for a sick person in such terrible living conditions, with such a meager material income, but there is nothing else to do. I have to live on my wits and deprive myself of all simple things... just to help my daughter breathe and save her from death…
– Does she have a lot of choking fits?
Asmat: Once or twice a week... I call the ambulance from the regional center, but the child may die while the brigade reaches our village. So I have learned to take urgent measures. We have tubes for sanitation, oxygen supply and an inhaler. All this was presented in Tbilisi clinic, where Nini stayed two years ago. Now it is enough, but I am afraid of thinking about tomorrow!
– And have you asked for help from the municipal authorities?
Asmat: I applied many times with a request to help somehow with the repair works in the house... Our house is very old and it can fall apart at any moment. But they only promise…
– And this is another burden for you?
Asmat: our house used to be solid, but now it is in complete disrepair. Going upstairs is a risk for life; the stairs can collapse and the ceiling can fall onto our head. Here we huddle in this small room on the first floor, with no water, gas, or bathroom. We have neither funds nor strength to repair it. My husband, the father of Nini, is actually a disabled person. He has had multiple surgeries on the stomach. He is constantly walking huddled up, and his ulcer hurts. I'm taking care of him too. What else can I do?
– What do you do for living?
Asmat: I have a disability pension for my daughter and a tiny social allowance. Thank God we receive this money! I've heard that cash assistance has been suspended for many families in need. I feel sorry for them. It is so difficult to survive nowadays, why doesn't the government understand it? Or maybe it can, but doesn't want to?
– Did you try to take Nini to school? After all, socialization is very important for her.
Asmat: We tried, but the child couldn't cope with her emotions. When she saw other children running around she was hurt, besides she cannot speak articulately, so she felt ashamed... But I do classes with her at home. I've taught her to write and read, and to count and draw. The child is very sensitive. Once she told me: "Why do you need a daughter like me, you are only suffering with me. We both suffer..."
– All your dreams are related to your daughter, right?
Asmat: That's right. I was told that there is a vaccine which costs lots of money, but it can help my daughter regain her feet. I don't know if that's true, but either way, we're never going to get it. The course of treatment costs about a half a million lari. And we even cannot find money to buy bread. All the time we live in fear – either the child is sick, or my husband is in pain, then the pipe would burst or the leaking ceiling would need repair. That's how I live in constant anxiety.
– I'm going to talk to Nini, and you will help me so that she doesn't get embarrassed, okay?
Asmat: Oh, the girl really wants to communicate, although she gets embarrassed by her slurred speech.
– Nini, what are you dreaming about?
Nini (13 years old): I have a dream (note: she paused to think)... to go like everyone does and not to have seizures... I want my mom to lay the table and.... so that we often receive guests!
– And what do you like most of all?
Nini: I like to draw. I have watercolors, but they're running out, but my mom said she'd try to get new ones.…
– I have seen your pictures and I found out that you like to paint birds.
Nini: I love birds. You see, this is my parrot. I even talk to him. Now I want to draw a firebird, it's all so golden and beautiful... It works wonders, I believe it (note: she smiles).
– And do you want to go, or rather "ride" in a wheelchair, to school?
Nini: The road is bad... but I still I don't want to. There my head starts spinning and I lack air in there. I want to be with my mom more.
– And what would you like to have at the moment?
Nini: Oh, I dream of a laptop. I would learn English, read stories, communicate with other children, it would be more fun…
– Nini, we wish you the fulfilment of your dreams, as well as health and good mood. We will always be with you!
What do people think, passing by someone else's trouble? "Someone will help them" or "They are strong and can handle anything". It is not true... People who are passing by shift their responsibility to the others. It is a vicious circle... And only time does not listen to anyone and does not ask, it just passes... But if one person shows a good example, others will repeat! So please, be this kind person!
Dear readers, dear fathers and mothers, help little Nini and her family in the difficult struggle with the insidious fate! They believe in you and wait for a miracle!
You can deposit money to our Fund account to buy medicines, hygiene products, food, household things and appliances: GE15TB7194336080100003 or GE64BG0000000470458000 (purpose: Nini Rostiashvili). You can also transfer money from our website.
You can as well transfer money from the terminals of Nova Technology, TBCpay and ExpressPay. Find our Fund in "Charity" section. (You can learn about the additional rights and obligations of the Fund by following the link https://goo.gl/GY2Gus).
Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love! Let God save you!