- I must be healthy and strong, because mommy will not survive without me! - Instead of saying ”Hi”, said very seriously a handsome 11-year-old boy, who introduced himself as Lasha.
The home of these poor people is in Zemo-Alvani village of Akhmeta District, 175 kilometers away from Tbilisi.
-Let’s go... Mommy is alone in the house. She suffers headaches after a stroke. She is waiting for you so much! You are from the Fund, aren’t you?
Correspondent: Right, Lasha. Lead us, show us into your home.
- I wonder how you managed to find us. Only the Ambulance manages to find us. I often get sick too. So they know our address by heart! And come quickly.
God, God, have you really come to our remote place? (Akhmeta District, Zemo-Alvani village, approximately 175 km away from Tbilisi)
I can’t believe my eyes! Glory be to thee, O lord, you heard my pleas for help! – Mariam, a seriously sick housewife, exclaimed. She started crying bitterly when we were about to enter her home.
And then... The tragic story of 52-year-old Mariam shook us to our core! Even us...the employees of Chernovetskyi Fund, who had seen a lot of tragedies.
Suffering a severe pain, the poor mother barely got up from her bed and sat down at the table...
- Excuse me, please! - Mariam sobbed, - the damned stroke! With my blood pressure so high now and my blood sugar, I am afraid I will get completely paralyzed. But Lasha? He will be completely alone. Oh, God! Please, don’t go, please, don’t go, - the woman suddenly cried out, getting for some reason very frightened that we would suddenly turn around and leave, since there was no one to talk to in the house. - I will not cry... I will tell you everything, absolutely everything...Now Lasha will explain.
- Calm down, calm down! Mommy, don’t cry, the doctor says you cannot! I am here! - Lasha gives orders paying almost no attention to us. He rushes to his mother, starts kissing her neck and hugging her.
- I beg you one thing, dear friends of the Fund, don’t leave Lasha alone...” - mother keeps on wailing. He suffers epilepsy! It’s a terrible disease! If nobody helps him immediately when the attack starts, he may die. God, forbid!
Terrible poverty, complete absence of any amenities and grief hover in this house from the very doorstep! It seems unnecessary even to speak about that. But finally we dare to, when the situation calms down.
- Please don’t cry, Mariam! What misfortunes made you address us?
Mariam: The thing is that I am no longer young, I suffer from many diseases and I have a sick son in my arms! He is only 11 years old and he has suffered from epilepsy since birth, he really needs constant care and attention. And in my state I am often just lying unable even to get up...
When I had the stroke, I knew that I had diabetes, but since I started getting insulin injections regularly, I could not imagine such a thing to happen. I have no money to buy stripes to measure my blood sugar.
My poor little boy almost got mad of fear, when I lost consciousness and fell down in the yard as if I was dead. He started shouting and calling the neighbors for help. I remember nothing of that - when I came to senses I found myself at the intensive care unit. I was lucky to survive, but taking a rehabilitation course was out of the question, you know, it costs a lot of money. Thank God for saving my life, because my poor boy has no one but me! This is the way we live. All my diseases are caused by worries about my son's health, by poverty... and the feeling of helplessness.
- You say Lasha has been ill since his birth. Can you tell me more about that?
Mariam: Lasha is a late child, he was born when I was 40. My son is the Lord’s miracle. The doctors gave me no hope to become a mother. The labor was very difficult and I had no money for C-section. He was not even a month old, when he suddenly blacked out. The diagnosis made by the doctors was terrible - epilepsy as a result of birth trauma. Besides that, one of his eyes has been smaller than the other, since his birth.
He used to have attacks and seizures rather often before - probably once a week. But now as he’s got older they don’t happen so often. However, when the attack starts, only the ambulance can help him, giving him a Diazepam shot. The only thing that gives me solace is that his epilepsy is a neurological disorder, that he has no mental disorders.
The main thing for him is to keep calm. He cannot stand it when something is denied to him, he throws a tantrum, screams, pulls his hair ... It's just awful. The doctor prescribed him the necessary treatment, but the state rejected my request to finance the medication, and I have no idea where to get the amount of 80 GEL. It is more than a half of our monthly income.
- Mariam, what is the most difficult thing in raising a sick child?
Mariam: The most difficult is to admit your helplessness, to see how your only child suffers and have no chance to help him. This is really terrible (cries).
- What would you advise to the mothers in the same dire situation as yours?
Mariam: Always keep you spirits up, because the most important thing is our children's well-being. Never lose your faith. God will help you to put them on their feet. I still hold on, only because I believe God is merciful, He will never leave me and my dear boy!
- Mariam, do you live here with your son alone? I am sorry for an embarrassing question, but where is Lasha’s father, does he help you somehow?
Mariam: What an emotive issue you are touching. I met Lasha’s father at a birthday party at our mutual friend’s place. We liked each other and soon we got married. I was dreaming of having a happy family and children. But my dreams were not meant to come true. Because of my ex-husband I lost my home. He secretly mortgaged the house and left - to seek his fortune in Grozny. And creditors without any mercy threw me and my son out. This is how our wanderings began, and my husband, when he was back, just found another woman and forgot about our existence, - Mariam sighs heavily.
- What is the main problem of your family right now?
Mariam: Problem? Look around. We live in someone else’s house, we are deprived of absolutely everything, I am sick and cannot earn money. Sometimes we have nothing to eat. My poor Lasha has no idea what joyful and carefree childhood is. No matter how much I wish it, I can give nothing to him (she cries).
- How exactly can we help you?
Mariam: We have no fridge, no TV, no washing machine. You probably understand how difficult it is for me to do housework with my health issues. And my son had to miss on-line lessons frequently, because the tablet he was given at school was out of order. I gave up on myself a long time ago - and any diet is out of question.
- Does anybody help you? Parents or relatives?
Mariam: There is nobody who can help us. My father died 10 years ago of cancer, followed by my mother.She had a lung disease and the doctors could not help her. I have a brother, but he has his own family, children, his own concerns. He cannot take care of us; he just has to make ends meet. Besides that, he has problems with his heart. My only hope is Lord and good people.
-Have you ever thought that such misfortune would happen to you? How did you imagine your future?
Mariam: I never dreamed of wealth, the only thing I wanted to have was a real, strong family. I was ready to do anything for this, but that wasn't going to happen. I always used to work hard, and was able to keep myself. And I never thought that I would ever be so helpless. But you see, my health failed. Now it is difficult for me even to move around the house.
- We are so sorry! And did you address anybody for help? The local government, for instance?
Mariam: As far as we are socially disadvantaged, all scheduled visits to the doctor are free for Lasha. Now I am going to apply to them for financing his medical examination - hopefully they will help.
- What do you believe in? In what do you see the salvation?
Mariam: Only in God, only in faith. He performed a miracle once, when he gave me my son, when I almost had no hope. I am sure God will not leave me, He will help me to put Lasha on his feet.
- Do you believe in the kindness of strangers?
Mariam: When I got ill the whole village were gathering food and hygienic items for us. People are poor here, most of them are unemployed, but they know that Lasha grows without father, that I am sick, so they always try to treat us with something.
Does Lasha go to school? How does he study?
Mariam: He goes to school, but everything is complicated. Due to his illness, due to the fact that he has got a violent temper and he easily starts screaming and tormenting himself, we have many problems. Imagine, the director once called me and offered me to send my son to a boarding school. He said I could not cope alone! I will never, you know, never part with him! He is my whole life, and I will be by him till the end.
As for studying, actually he is not diligent, but I can’t force him. I have already explained, I have to take care of his nerves.
But he is fond of sports, of wrestling. Fortunately we have a free of charge wrestling school in our village.
Mariam, what is your diet?
Mariam: All our income is a social allowance of 150 GEL, and it is spent on medicines and utilities. We eat in a social canteen - water-based soups and pasta. But it is better than nothing.
- You said that your house was mortgaged and taken away by creditors, but how did you find yourselves here?
Mariam: Kind people let us in. They moved to Tbilisi and did not want to leave this house unattended. God bless them, I had no other place to go. And now I have a roof over my head. You see, we have only one bulb, and there is no other room here, the furniture is old and is about to collapse.But thank God we do not end up in the street. Although we live in a permanent fear that the owners will need the house and that we will be asked to move out ... Where can we go? I have no idea.
Mariam, may I ask Lasha any questions?
Lasha tell me a little bit about yourself, please. Do you like going to school? What are your hobbies?
Lasha (11-year-old) I go wrestling! You know why? I must become strong! Because I am a man, and I should protect and support my mother!
- What will you become when you grow up?
Lasha (11-year-old): I have not decided yet, but I think I’ll become a policeman. I will protect everybody and catch dangerous criminals.
-Lasha, do you remember your father? Do you meet him? - the boy hesitates, a grudge flashes in his eyes ...
Lasha (11-year-old): Why are you asking? I don’t want to talk about him. He left my mother and me, it is so mean. I would never do anything like that! Never.
- Please excuse me for my awkward question. Better tell me what you are dreaming about?
Lasha (11-year-old): I am dreaming that my mom would never get sick, and I were healthy too, to help her.
- Maybe you want something else, besides that? Something that would make you happy?
Lasha (11-year-old): I want to have a bike. It would be so cool to race together with other boys! And a computer. I love computer games, sometimes our neighbors let me play. But the most important is that my mom would be healthy, I need nothing more.
-Have you got many friends?
Lasha (11-year-old): No, not too many. But we are friends with one girl, her name is Kety. She is the most beautiful girl in our school! And she is clever and kind! Once they wanted to punish me at school, but she told all the truth! That it was not me! It was not me, but they always want to accuse me and punish me. Why don’t they like me? It’s all because of my ugly eye.
- Lasha, never listen to those who say that! You are a wonderful person, a real Georgian man! Your mother can be proud of you! What would you wish to all Georgian children?
Lasha (11-year-old): I would wish them health and everyone to have a bike! Dreams come true, you should believe that! Because you have read our letter and come!
- What is your biggest dream?
Mariam: To put my son on his feet, what else we are living for? I don’t think about anything else. I ask Lord for health not for myself. I want to raise my son, to help him to find his way.
- Mariam, what do you think, you need most in your home?
Mariam: Oh God, I feel so awkward to ask. The God is the witness that it is for the sake of my son, he worries so much that we live in such conditions, he is still a child. It would be good to live in better conditions. Since he has no computer, he almost takes no part in on-line studying.
Look around, we have nothing. No TV, no fridge, no washing machine. The landlady brought us a gas stove during her latest visit here. And I sometimes cannot get up from my bed. I have one more request. We need wood for winter. There is no heating, we will die of the cold ...
- Why did you decide to address us?
Mariam: I have heard a lot of good things about you, I see that you have many good friends. I believed in you and that’s why I decided to write to you. My heart was not mistaken - I am sure God has brought you to our home!
Friends, you see this family found itself in a very hard situation. They have no one to ask for help. They are alone in the whole world, and their only hope is God and the kindness of their compatriots.
Their problems get even more difficult because of their health issues. But we can make their life easier. Lasha needs to get education, by now he is deprived of that. Because he has no computer.
Mariam suffers from diabetes, but she is unable to keep a diet. Mother and son get eat at a social canteen.
Mariam Datukishvili and her son live in terrible conditions, they need appliances, food and wood for winter. They might get frozen. The boy dreams about a computer and a bicycle. We have no right to leave them alone facing their problems after we have heard their story.
You can call Mariam and support her with kind words, her phone is: 551 13 91 89
Or visit them at the address: Akhmeta district, village Zemo-alvani. Believe me, they will be very happy.
Please repost our publication. Let all your friends know about the challenges and dreams of the Datukishvili family! It’s extremely important!
God gives us chances to care about people who are unable to take care of themselves. Those poor people are sent to us by heaven so that we could prove not by words, but in deeds that we trust in God!
Friends, there is one more request - if you know about a misfortune of a neighbor or friend do a godly deed, drop us an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Fund’s accounts are:
(Purpose: Datukishvili family).
You can also transfer money from our website.
It is also possible to transfer money from Nova Technology, TBCpay and ExpressPay terminals. Find our Fund under "Charity" section. (You can read more about rights and responsibilities of the Fund following the link https://goo.gl/GY2Gus )
We have already helped many disadvantaged people! Let’s support Mariam and Lasha, as no one is immune to bad luck! And who knows, maybe someday we ourselves will need help of strangers!
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