It’s is a peak of my dreams! - sobs Natia (40-year-old), a miserable mother, because her only son Saba (10-year-old) cannot say even a word. He is chained to the wheelchair and can’t do anything by himself, neither eat, nor drink nor talk.
“Gee-gee-gee” - greets us wonderful Saba (10-year-old) with a joyful hooting, as if he understood that we came to help him!
Cerebral palsy, epilepsy, profound intellectual disability - that was the diagnosis given by doctors 10 years ago. But Natia does not give up, she is ready to struggle for her son’s life till her last breath. Together with her husband Irakli (41-year-old) they spare no efforts and struggle for their son, still hoping that he will stand on his feet and utter some words.
God, save all the children! Every child deserves a happy childhood and better future! Friends, we will do our best together not to let children suffer! Because Georgians, like nobody else, can empathize and help their neighbors.
- Natia, what is the matter with your son?
Natia: My poor boy. I still cannot tolerate the fact that he will be never able to live a normal life. He can do absolutely nothing by himself. Neither eat nor drink, let alone walk or talk! I haven’t heard a single word from him during these 10 years, except those “gee-gee-gee”. With these sounds he addresses everybody with whom he wants to communicate. This is the way he expresses his emotions. Saba was diagnosed cerebral palsy when he was 1 year and 1 month old.
- So, Saba hasn't been sick since birth?
Natia: My husband and me expected to have a healthy baby. But something went wrong. When my son was born, he could not cry, and the next morning he had an epilepsy attack, so the doctors suspected meningitis. They pumped out the liquid from his spine and after that he developed palsy. I can’t find words to describe what I was feeling. I wanted to die and not to listen and see all that!
We visited so many doctors. Saba had tendons surgery, since he could only stand on tiptoe. That brought some results, but he still cannot walk. We have been attending sessions of various specialists at the rehabilitation center, but we do it three times a week instead of five we have to. They provide us with transportation only three times a week and we can’t afford a taxi to go there.
- What do the doctors say? How much can his condition be improved?
Natia: We don’t even dream about full recovery... But! There is always a reason to keep on fighting! At the rehabilitation center he has sessions with a speech therapist, psychologist, occupational therapists. Any therapist will tell you that each case is unique, and it is always possible to achieve a certain result. I constantly work with him at home too, we play, he particularly likes when I sing to him - it makes a blissful smile appear on his face.
- Natia, what is the most difficult thing in raising a sick child?
Natia: Everything is difficult, especially when you are permanently short of money. Your hands are tied. I’d like to bring specialists home, but it costs a fortune. And I just have no money to take my son to the center every day.
I dream that he would speak at least a little, say at least a few words, to call us mom and dad! I want him to learn how to draw, at least lines... That he would eat, chew and swallow food by himself. I even see it in my dreams that he calls me: “Mama” (sobs)
- What would you advise mothers in the same dire situation as yours?
Natia: I want to wish all of them patience! And a lot of willpower! Every mother always tries to do her best for her baby’s well-being. Since the Lord wanted us to carry this cross, he will also give us the strength, sure!
- Natia, how does your husband take this situation? Is he as patient as you are? How did you meet each other, how did you start the family?
Natia: Oh, he supports me so much! I don’t know how I would cope without his help. When he is not at work, he spends his time with our son, plays with him and entertains him. We met with him by chance and got married soon. It felt like I knew him for ages. Irakli is a very kind, empathetic, caring and attentive person. The day when we got married is the best day of my life! We could not even imagine then what we would have to go through!
One year and two months later Saba was born.
How did you imagine your future at that time?
Natia: When we got married, I was 26 and Irakli was 28. We both, from the very beginning saw only an optimistic pictures. Irakli surrounded me with the love and care, and I knew for sure that he would be a wonderful father. At that time, I had no idea what trials I was going to face.
- Does anybody help you? Parents or relatives?
Natia: Our parents are at the age when they need help themselves. My mom and dad used to send us fruits, vegetables and flour from the village. But now they can’t do even that. My mom has a sick heart, she permanently needs medications and she spend all her pension on it.
My sisters live in the village too, together with their families and little children. You know, life in the village is hard, there is unemployment there. They are trying to keep their families somehow.
- Did you address anybody else for help? The local government, for instance?
Natia: The state financed Saba’s treatment in the rehabilitation center and pays us allowance as we are socially disadvantaged. I can’t ask for more. But we have to live somehow. We can barely make ends meet. The town hall provided us with this wheelchair. But it will get small for him soon. Once in four month I appeal to the Ministry of Health and they give us 100 GEL for medications.
- What is your family income? What’s it enough for?
Natia: My husband works as security officer at the Technical University, his salary is 150 GEL, the child’s disability pension is 220 GEL, social allowance is 100 GEL, so it’s 470 GEL total. How can this amount be enough when you have a disabled child? He needs diapers, medications, and besides, good nutrition. My husband would be glad to earn some money, but where? It was possible to find some side work before the pandemic but now even those who had a stable income are left unemployed.
Saba, as a disabled person, gets 400 GEL from the state twice a year. This amount completely goes on his medications and other needs.
- What do you give Saba to eat? What does he like?
Natia: Since he cannot chew, I have to grind everything by hand. Porridge, yogurt, fruits, borscht, soup. It would be good to include meat to his diet, more dairy products, variety of fruits, but we have no opportunity. He likes apples and does not like pears. He has not tasted any other fruits because they are expensive.
- What does he like doing most?
Natia: He likes singing very much, I often sing to him before he goes to sleep, and during the day too. When Saba was crying, I used to calm him with songs. He likes to watch music shows and cartoons. We are always together, at home, at the rehabilitation center, while shopping. I often read to him fairy tales and poems. For instance, when I read poems to him, he always listens carefully and tries to repeat the sounds. Usually, Saba expresses his emotions with certain sounds, so that you can immediately understand whether he is happy, or something hurts him. We have very few toys. We have color blocks, he can’t play with them, but he likes when I put them in front of him, he just looks at them and smiles.
- What do you believe in? In what do you see the salvation?
Natia: My husband and me are both very religious. Actually, I spend the whole day with the child and cannot often go to church, but I always pray at home. Irakli goes to church more often, to light a candle and to pray for our son’s health.
- Do you believe in the kindness of strangers?
Natia: Yes, there are compassionate people, who take someone else’s trouble close to heart, but now it’s a very hard time, everybody experiences difficulties. Who can we address for help? I cannot, I feel awkward. Now every family has its problems and difficulties.
For instance, in winter our neighbor noticed that we had no TV, so he gave us his TV. It’s old, black-and-white, but still it’s better than nothing. Unfortunately, it went out of order soon. It was an entertainment for Saba.
- Natia, does this house belong to your family?
Natia: If we can call it a house, then yes. It’s a low ground floor. It’s dump and it smells musty here. But we have no other way, it’s better than renting. When my son needed an operation and help of various specialists, we had to sell our apartment to cover the debts. And that’s what we have managed to buy with the remaining money.
- What is your biggest dream?
Natia: I only dream about the health of my son. At least a better health. I hope that specialists will manage to improve his condition and adapt him to some extent to an independent life. If he only would learn to say some words, to hold the spoon and to relocate somehow! He has only the two of us - my husband and me - while he permanently needs care. We are not eternal, and I don’t want to think what happens to him when we go.
-What do you think, you need most in your home?
Natia: God, I feel so awkward to ask. But we really need help. Our meager income goes to the medications and food. And our sick boy needs so many things! Diapers, medications, adequate food. He needs a special chair where his spine could be fixed, but we cannot afford it.
I can’t leave him even for a while, that’s why I have to do all the housework at night. We don't even have a fridge! I have to cook and grind the food for my child several times a day, so I would be happy to have a blender, as well as a TV or a tablet for Saba to watch cartoons or musical programs. It will not only entertain him but also help for his development.
- Why did you decide to address us?
Natia: My neighbor told me that you really help people. That’s why I dared to call you. All around they are saying that Chernovetskyi Fund has many good friends. My only hope is their mercy! You made so many people feel happy! So, I hope there will be someone who will be compassionate with my poor boy! The God will bless you for your good deeds!
Friends, this wonderful family really needs our support! It is not easy to be parents of a ”special” child, and the burden becomes unbearable, when financial problems and unsettled life conditions are added to this.
Poor parents, Natia and Irakli, are doing their best, but they are unable to put their son on his feet alone. True Christians cannot leave them facing their troubles alone.
Little Saba (10-year-old) suffers so much and he is not adapted to life at all. He needs permanent medical care, medications, diapers, adequate food to survive. And his poor mother, besides son’s illness, has to deal with all the housework by hand, they have even no room to store the food. The family urgently needs a fridge, a TV, a blender, and little Saba will be happy to have a tablet.
You can call Natia and support her with kind words. She will be very happy! Her phone is: 597 - 09 - 63 -79.
You can also visit the Mamulashvili family at the following address: Tbilisi, Chughureti district, 1 1 Crimea Street, 1st floor.
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 not by words, but in deeds that we trust in God!
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: email@example.com
Our Fund’s accounts are:
(Purpose: Mamulashvili family).
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We have already helped many disadvantaged people! Let’s support the Mamulashvili family, as no one is immune to bad luck! And who knows, maybe someday we ourselves will need help of strangers!
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