“Ma’am, my sister is a doll, she cannot talk and her legs do not walk. She is so nice, and I love her so much, but her body hurts and she cries. And I cry together with her.”- 6-year-old Teona told me about her beloved 7-year-old sister Barbare in a very soft voice.
“It is unbearable to see your child suffer! My heart is broken! My little Barbare is suffering day after day.God, please help! When it hurts her, I feel hurt a hundred times more.
‘When she sees how children are playing in the yard, looks how little girls play and laugh, I see tears running from her eyes.” - Inga starts crying.
The only thing 6-year-old Teona Metreveli dreams about, is to play with her elder sister Barbare. But Barbare can’t even stand up from her wheelchair. Teona knows that her sister is seriously sick and that she spends all days motionless in her fairy chair - the wheelchair. But the girl is waiting for her sister to get well - she believes that it will happen and that she will play house with Barbare.
“Ma’am, my sister is always sick. How is it possible? Do you know when she will play with me? When will she start walking and talking? Barbare is so small, that I am afraid of hurting her when I hold her in my arms.
37-year-old Inga, Teona and sick Barbare’s mother. She has spent the last seven years of her life in a fear for the life of her elder daughter. The girl, suffering from hydrocephalus and cerebral palsy since birth, has had two complex operations and miraculously survived ... But the diseases chained the little girl to a wheelchair ... The only joy of this bright angel is Teona, who never leaves her sister , is always by her side hugging her, kissing her, cheering her up all the time...
Inga: Please help my little girl, save her! We can barely make ends meet, we cannot afford even a doctor’s consultation to define further rehabilitation strategy for Barbare. Without that all our efforts to save my daughter will be vain.
Despite our desperate condition we managed to get her operated on twice, we literally saved her from death. And now, when it’s time to help her to talk and walk, we are unable to pay for a visit to a neurologist and speech therapist. Next week Barbare should start the course of Vojta therapy, we have dreamed for so long, but one visit costs 800 GEL and we haven’t even dreamed of such money.
Please! Don’t leave my girl! Give her a chance to live! The God will reward you! I will pray for all the children of Georgia so that God would save every mother from my unfortunate fate ... Lord, help!
Barbare is absolutely helpless, she cannot even stand up by her own. For 7 years of her life, Barbara has not uttered a word ... My heart breaks when I see her cry, and I am not able to understand why she is crying, because she cannot say a word ... Oh, my God, woe, woe ...!
Inga, tell me in detail what happened to Barbare.
- Barbare has a severe hydrocephalus and a cerebral palsy. She will be 8 soon, but she weighs only 15 kilograms. She still needs diapers and is not able to say a word. She cannot even rise from her wheelchair. When she tries to, her legs bend and she falls down. My poor girl. Because of her helplessness, Barbara often cries, and I cry with her because I can no longer look at my little angel’s pain ... Lord, save all sick children! It is unbearable to see your child suffer.
But the worst thing is to realize that a rehabilitation course might help her, but all this requires tremendous amounts. All our money is spent on the medications for me and my child, there is hardly enough money to make ends meet ...
Is Barbare sick from birth?
- Yeas, dear. It all happened because of an accident. When I was 6 months pregnant, I visited my brother-in-law. There were cows in his yard and one of the cows rushed to me and knocked me down. It bunted me directly in the abdomen. My problems started then. The baby did not move for about 1.5 hours. My husband and me were in panic. When I was 7 months pregnant the doctor said that the child would have problems.
Barbare was born premature, when I was 7.5 –month- pregnant, and her weight was 1.6 kilograms. My baby, started to fight for a place in the sun! She spent two month in an infant incubator with a mechanical ventilator. She was fed with a feeding tube and until she was 3 she could eat only food processed with a blender.
From a young age, Barbara did not develop at all ... Now, when she is nearly 8 years old, she is like an 8-month-old baby ... We no longer know which alarm to raise to be heard ...
How is it possible to help Barbare?
There are rehabilitations courses, Vojta therapy, massages, lessons with a speech therapist and orthopedist - all these activities can improve her condition. But all those courses can only be prescribed after consultations with specialists. Lessons with orthopedist and special orthopedic footwear may help her to make her first steps – at least with my assistance.
After the second operation we were told that the rehabilitation courses might significantly improve Barbare’s life quality. That’s why I appealed to all friends of the Fund. I know you help sick children. People in Georgia are kind and compassionate, they will not pass by such a tragedy ... I believe that the Lord has sent me to you!
Tell me, what treatment Barbare has already had?
- When Barbare was 18 months old she nearly died in my arms. Her diagnosis is accompanied by seizures and vomiting. When she was little she used to roll her eyes, start vomiting and having seizures. Such attacks were much more serious than the previous ones. She was lying motionless for a long time, as if she was dead. Can you imagine? I called her, saying “Barbare, look at mommy!”, but there was no response.
After that she was operated on for the first time - it was a bypass surgery. A tine pipe was installed under her scalp skin going from her head to her stomach - there is a small valve that pumps extra liquid from her head to the abdomen. It saved us for a short time from the attacks, headaches and vomiting. But the valve got stuck very soon. And three years ago she underwent bypass surgery for the second time.
The second operation was much more efficient and now Barbare is much better. She almost has no seizures. It’s time to develop her, to teach her to walk and talk. Because if professionals do not take care of her now, she will remain as she is now - immobile in a wheelchair ...
Inga, everything you have experienced is terrible! Tell me, where you got the money to have her operated on two times?
The first operation made us make debts, because the state refused to finance it. I sold everything that was possible to sell. My husband took a loan, which we are still paying off. But who cares? We had to save our girl!
The second operation was 50% financed by the state. Kind people helped us to raise the rest of the sum. In despair I addressed the charity fund “Footsteps of good”. I swear I didn't count on anything. But the fund helped me to raise the necessary amount of money. God bless all who work in charity funds! You do lots of good!
What means do you live on?
My husband always worked to earn some money. Now he works day and night cleaning streets to get a penny for our daily bread. We live very modestly in a ruined house with no basic amenities. But I don’t complain! Don’t think I am complaining. My husband was brought up in this house and my daughter are brought up here. It happened so that we together are trying to put our girls on their feet. There are no relatives who could help. All of them live hard lives. I know, it’s a very hard time now.
Only because of my husband we are not starving, but it is not enough. We also have to buy diapers for Barbare and medications for me and Barbare. I am a second category disabled. I have had cataract since my birth, I am half-blind. Because of that I can’t go out without my husband’s assistance.
Besides sight problems, I have chronic pancreatitis, gastritis and colitis. Without pills I have permanent vomit attacks, dizzy head and I frequently lose consciousness. That’s why all our money goes to buy medications for me and my daughter. First for Barbare and then for me if there is money left.I am ready for everything to buy medications for her, they are very expensive - Depakine and Epix, but only those prevent her from the attacks. Barbare cannot interrupt her medical treatment course, because it will make all our efforts vain. My heart will not bear this horror ...
Tell me more about you husband. How did your family start?
- Temur, my husband, is the kindest and the best person in my life! We met in the Internet and soon we had our 30-person wedding party. It was a small and modest wedding. But it didn't bother us a bit! On this day we united our hearts forever and ever ... My husband always supports me in everything. I don't know what I would do without him ...
What were your plans for life when you were young, when you were just starting a family?
- My husband and I dreamed of a calm, quiet life. We wanted to buy a small house and raise our child there. I had a difficult childhood, I come from a very poor family. Parents worked all their life to get a piece of bread. Since childhood I have been fighting blindness. I underwent five operations and spent lots of nights in hospitals. But nothing helped. I did not manage to restore my vision. With all my heart I wanted my child to have a carefree childhood, not like mine, spent in hospitals and poverty. But life had its own plans. Maybe this is a challenge we have to go through together with our family.
Don’t give up, Inga! God is on your side, don’t forget it!
- Sure, dear! In my situation only faith can help! I often go to church and pray for my children. Every morning I thank God that he gave me Barbare and Teona. Without them my life would have no meaning. They are a part of my soul. My heart is broken because my child suffers. Only God does not let me break down. Only He is capable of anything!
- What is the most difficult thing in rising a sick child?
- Absolutely everything! She can do nothing. I have to do everything for her. But the most difficult thing is to understand without words what she wants. She is very emotional. When something goes wrong she starts crying loudly. And I can’t understand what the reason is.
At night I can’t sleep well, I’m lying next to her on the watch: what if suddenly there are seizures or my daughter will lose consciousness? I should be near her all day long.
It is also hard to realize that she understands everything. When I take her out to walk, where children are running, she looks at them. She watches boys of her age run, little girls play and laugh ... She looks, and tears come from her eyes ... She also wants to run! Wants to play! Wants to talk! I see her eyes saying that! How she longs there!
It is hard to watch that. When I realize that making her dream come true requires lots of money, it just kills me. The money we don’t have, money that will help her to walk and talk. God, help us!
God will hear you for sure! What would you advise mothers in the dire situation like yours?
-Talk to somebody who will understand your grief. Don’t keep your thoughts and feelings inside of you. Especially, bad ones. It will be a lie if I tell you that I have never had bad thoughts. I have had them, sure. And I still have them. But God is with me. It was He who directed you to me, and I sincerely opened myself to you, to the Fund. I have shared my pain with you. And I feel better now. It easy to get desperate. It is much harder to withstand despite all - this is the sign of a real mother’s love. Remember that! You are not alone!
Inga, there are many friends of the Fund who want to visit you. Are you ready to meet the friends of the Fund?
- Of course, dear! Our doors are open for everybody! It will be a big pleasure to me to meet the Fund’s friends. I can’t promise that I will treat them to anything, my fridge is often empty, but still. I can guarantee, that the visit will turn into a pleasant conversation!
Can you tell me about your younger daughter Teona? What kind of girl is she, what does she like doing?
- Me? Maybe you’d better ask her? Look how Teo is looking at us, wising to talk to you! Look at her - she does not take her eyes off.
Teo, what do you like doing?
Teo (6-year-old): - I like playing with my friends. You know, I have many friends. Elene, Mariam, Barbare. Barbare is also my beloved sister’s name. She is the best! She is better than any friend! I would like to play with her, but I cannot! She is sick.
Why can’t you play with her?
Teo (6-year-old): She might get sick. And mommy will start crying. But she allows me to hold her in my arms. She is so tiny! She fits on my knees. Look, ma’am! I hug her this way!
But I should be careful! I am always scared that I could break her bones.
Tell me, what game you would like to play with your sister?
Teo (6-year-old): I would give her my favorite doll and we would play the house. When Barbare starts to walk, we will surely play hide-and-seek. She will hide and I will seek. And vice versa. We always play it with my friends. But I want to play it with my sister. Because I am with my friends only in the kindergarten, and with my sister - always!
I am sure you will play with her very soon. Who do you love most of all?
Teo (6-year-old): - Barbare! Mother. And father, I love them all! What about you ma’am?
I love pretty little girls like you! What are you going to be when you grow up? Have you decided yet?
Teo (6-year-old): Of course, ma’am I decided a long time ago! I want to be a doctor and a cook at the same time! I will become a doctor to cure my sister and all sick children. And a cook - to cook delicious food! I like eating delicious things, ma’am!
What do you like to have?
Teo (6-year-old): - Everything! But not the stuff my mother makes. She makes only porridge and soups! And I like burgers and sweets! Once my mother made burgers for us. They were delicious! I helped her! I decided then to become a cook!
Do you have a dream?
Teo (6-year-old): I want all children to be healthy and never get sick like my sister! I also want Barbara and me to jump rope and ride a swing.
What a beautiful dream! I hope it will come true. Inga, how can the Fund help your family?
I feel awkward to ask and bother you. But God is a witness that we have no money to put Barbare on her feet. Please, help us! First of all she needs to visit specialists for consultations and then take a rehabilitation course. Nobody knows how many visits to the orthopedist and the speech therapist will be necessary. And the Vojta therapy! I am scared even to name the cost for it! 800 GEL for one course. I trust only in the mercy of God and the kindness of the Foundation and your friends!
If we start the rehabilitation courses right now, the doctors give her a chance to live a normal life. If we do not do it on time, then my youngest daughter Teo will be doomed to be Barbare’s hands and feet when my husband and I are gone. Please, help us! I beg for help not for myself, but for my angel, who was sent here by heaven! Give her a chance to become a full-fledged member of society. I am sure we will hear a lot about her kind heart!
Friends, the Metreveli family needs our help and support. The poor mother of a seriously sick daughter has sold everything she had to treat her little angel! The family somehow managed to pay for two operations, but it is not enough. Barbare urgently needs to take rehabilitation, she needs quite expensive medications, diapers, Vojta therapy course, but first of all she needs our love and support!
Inga still hopes that her girl will rise to her feet! It’s not the girl’s fault what happened to her. Her parents do their best to teach her to walk and talk. Let’s help the child!
It was difficult for Inga to talk about her pain, but for the sake of her daughter she shared her story with us and she hopes for your help, friends!
Call Inga, cheer her up and give her a hope for tomorrow. Phone: 555 71 58 76
You can also visit the family at the address: Akhalsopeli village, Gardabani District
Please repost our publication. Let your friends know about the grief of this 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 that we trust in God not by words, but in deeds!
Friends, there is one more request - if you know about the misfortune of a neighbor or friend do a godly deed, drop us an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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(Purpose: Metreveli family).
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We have already helped many disadvantaged people! Let’s support Little Barbare and her poor parents and sister, as no one is immune to bad luck! And who knows, maybe someday we ourselves will need help of strangers!
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