During long 14 years the old mother, Madonna, does not leave the bed of her sick daughter. The doctors urged her to leave Mariam an orphan. That she was about to die. But great is the Lord, the mother says, which prolongs the minutes of her stay with her daughter. I even sometimes think that I love her more than anyone else in the World.
When the unfortunate mother of the Fund contacted us, we immediately realized that without our help this family simply would not survive.
Madonna: There are 8 of us in the family. My husband and I, our three children: Mariam – 14 years old, Georgiy – 8 years old and Nikoloz – 7 years old. Marehi, the grandmother, and Gia, the grandfather. And my sister-in-law, Katie.
– You have a wonderful family, please tell us more about your daughter, Mariam, what is wrong with her?
Madonna: Mariam has cerebral palsy. I haven't left her bed for 14 years. I am preparing for a terrible outcome, but I cannot accept that she will leave me!
Giving birth to her was hard for me. We had to make a choice between the mother and the child, but we both survived. Mariam was so weak. She was wheezing like a kitten. I didn't even have the strength to cry. Her condition is serious. She never spoke, never moved herself... Her condition is getting worse every day. Her body is deformed. Her ribs squeezed one of her lungs. It's hard for her to breathe... She can't breathe anymore, she's breathing through tubes. If these tubes are not changed in time, they can rot and pus will reap the already tormented body of my daughter from the inside.
– What operations did she undergo and what do the doctors tell you?
Madonna: When she got really sick and stopped breathing, I had to put these damn plastic stomas in her throat and stomach. The doctors are all amazed that she is still alive.
Yes, it is very difficult to take care of such a child. I was warned about this, but I don't give up! I spent three days with my daughter in intensive care and I was taught absolutely everything so that I could take care of her on my own.
Mariam needs a full-time carer. The procedures are complex, everything should be sterile, and the tubes should be thoroughly washed after each feeding.
In the near future, a special care center for such children will be opened in Batumi. I understand that from a medical point of view, she may be better there, but I will not be able to leave her. And the most difficult thing, probably, is that I'm afraid to lose her every minute (crying).
– We understand your pain, if you want, we can interrupt the conversation.
Madonna: No, no, it's hard for me to say, but I want to share this pain. I do not wish this to the enemy, I wish all mothers in the world that their children were healthy! This is the greatest happiness!
– What advice do you want to give mothers in the same dire situation as yours?
Madonna: I'm not the first and I'm not the last… Unfortunately, there are a lot of mothers like me. Never give up! Fight for your child's life to the end! Who if not us?! And more… I do not want to impose my opinion on anyone, but, dear mothers, if you are not busy with work and you have this opportunity, do not hire other people to care for such children, give them your warmth and love every minute, believe me, it is very important!
– Madonna, what is the main problem of your family?
Madonna: You know what a serious condition my girl is in, she needs hygiene products and diapers; everything must be sterile, it is vital for her. Of course, full nutrition, meat and dairy products, she has a constant lack of calcium and potassium in the body.
– Tell us how you met your husband, how you created a family.
Madonna: I and Ketevan (Roman's sister-in-law) went to College together in Rustavi. We are best friends! We told each other all our secrets. I knew that Katie had a younger brother, but I never saw him. One day I went to see her in the village and there I met Roman. We stared at each other all evening. I loved him so much that I didn't even think about it, and we "ran away". That was how we came to this village! And then there was a "bonus" – my best friend became a relative for me! I like her better than my sister! If it was not for her, I would not have managed everything.
– Who supports you? Without support you probably would not have managed?
Madonna: Everything would be much more difficult without the support of relatives. We lived with my parents in Rustavi for six years, because it was closer to take Mariam to Tbilisi to see a doctor. They have always helped us, a special thank you to my brother, Vazha, even though it is difficult for him, he always tries to help us in everyday matters. He often buys disposable tubes and filters for my girl, and tries to help in every possible way.
My husband's sister, Kathy, is very helpful in taking care of Mariam. It is out of question to leave her alone even for a second.
– What were your dreams when you started a family? Did you ever think that such a misfortune could happen to you?
Madonna: We were young when we found out about my pregnancy. You even cannot imagine what kind of happiness it was. As soon as we found out that we were going to have a girl, we started thinking about what we would call our daughter. I wanted to name her after my mother-in-law. Her name is Marekhi. But the husband said that he liked the name Mariam very much. "We love you, we love Mariam" – so they accompanied me to the maternity ward… But something went wrong. The birth was very difficult, and the doctors fought for my daughter's life for a long time. She was saved, but the birth trauma made itself felt… We had to change our place of residence more than once, because Mariam needed medical help.
– And does the state support you? Have you asked for the help from the local authorities and deputies?
Madonna: Yes, the local authorities are helping with medicines for Mariam. Our region is very poor, and we are not the only ones who need help. I understand that.
– What do you believe in? What do you see as salvation? Do you believe in God?
Madonna: We are religious people. Children go to Church and take communion, but I don't always succeed. But God always sends us good people! Your appearance in our house – this is also from Him, I know!
– Do you believe that strangers can be good to you?
Madonna: You know, I didn't think that in such a difficult time, when everything is so hard to get, people would show such kindness and concern. But people help us, those who live in the neighborhood, bring everything they can: diapers, hygiene products.
– Tell us about the children, do they go to school?
Madonna: Georgiy and Nika are very kind and caring guys. Georgiy is in the third grade, and Niko is in the first. I can't say that they are happy that they don't have to go to school, they are bored. Both dream of becoming famous football players! More precisely, Georgiy dreams, and Niko, as always, takes an example from his older brother. Georgiy still loves to draw; he draws cartoon characters, and you know, he does it well!
I tell them the truth about their sister, they know that she has been ill since birth, and has never spoken or walked. They know that it will not be cured and will remain so until the end. (sobs again)
– Let me talk to the kids now. Kids, let's talk to you, can we? How do you do? What games do you like to play? How do you help mom and dad? What is your dream of?
Georgiy (8 years old): I'm doing fine, and you? Most of all, I love playing football with my brother, I want to become a famous football player. A star like Ronaldo, you know? In the meantime, I help my mother take care of my sick sister and go to school. Besides, Nikoloz and I don't have a good ball.
Nikoloz (7 years old): Give me, give me a word! I also want to talk to the aunt! To play? I also like football, sometimes basketball. My brother and I will be the most famous soccer players in the World! Don't you believe it? You'll see! I also help my mother with Mari, but not as much as Georgiy. I entertain her and sing songs! I can sing for you. Will you write it down?
– You're wornderful, boys! And now I'm going to talk to your mother again. Madonna, what's your family's income? What can you afford?
Madonna: Mariami has a disability pension of 220 lari and there is also an allowance of 340 lari. The village is poor, there is almost no work, and now, because of the coronavirus, even more so. You understand that Mariam needs money to support her life, but there is not enough money, and there is no question of proper nutrition.
– This may be an strange question, but we ask it to all our beneficiaries. What is your most cherished dream?
Madonna: Perhaps many people will not understand me, but I dream that while my girl is alive, she has everything she needs to maintain her existence with dignity.
Mariam needs diapers, nasogastric probes, tracheostomies, and a blender to care for her, because ours breaks down all the time. We need to change the floor and the wallpaper in her room so that it is clean and easier to maintain hygiene.
Our gas stove has gone bad and the refrigerator is very old, my father gave it to us for our wedding 15 years ago.
– How did you come across our Fund? – Why did you decide to contact us?
Madonna: I have often heard about your good deeds! I've seen mothers with children like my Mariam. And I saw them thank you. So I decided to write.
– Almost all Georgia will learn about your family when we write about it. Would you like to meet some friends of the Fund?
Madonna: Yes, we would love to meet good people.
Friends, we have no moral right to read this story and not help these poor people! Let's pray for Mariam and ask the Lord together so that this girl's life will not be interrupted!
To survive, the family is in dire need of medicines, hygiene products and household appliances! Help them to survive, consider them as your own relatives.
Let's support them, show mercy, and help the poor mother and daughter stay together for a little longer. You can personally visit this family and provide assistance. They will be happy! Call Madonna, find out about her needs, cheer her up, support her, tell her that she is not alone and that nobody will leave them alone in their trouble! It is very important.
Here is their address: Chokhatauri District, Jvartshma village (310 km from Tbilisi, Western Georgia) tel.: 599154936
Dear friends, Chernovetskyi Fund initiates a charitable action: to help Mariam Bolkvadze. As you know, the Fund does not stop at one-time assistance. Georgians should live as the proudest nation on earth – Georgians!
And be sure to repost our publication. Let all your friends know about the grief of this family! It is very important.
God gives us the opportunity to take care of people who are not able to do it themselves. Not all people are the same. And not everyone is as kind as we are. Please, do not pass aside the sorrow of others! Unhappy people are given to us from above so that we can prove our faith to the Almighty not in words but in deeds!
Friends, there is one more request, if you know about the misfortune of a neighbor or friend, do a Charitable deed, write to us by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Fund account GE15TB7194336080100003, GE42LB0115113036665000 or GE64BG0000000470458000 (purpose: Mariam Bolkvadze). You can also transfer money from our website.
You can as well transfer money from the terminals of OPPA, 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).