Margarita Fights to Live

Margarita when she first arrived at the hospital

One of the children under Nikolai’s care at the Chernigov orphanage in Kalinovka, Ukraine is Margarita. She was abandoned by her parents because of her health problems. She is five, but you wouldn’t have guessed that by looking at her size. Two other babies were admitted to the hospital with her under similar conditions, but have unfortunately passed away. Meanwhile, Margarita continues to fight to live. She doesn’t have swallowing and sucking reflexes and receives nutrition through a tube. She also has cardiac anomaly and problems with her respiratory system.

Her condition is unstable; she is often in and out of the regional hospital. At times, her temperature rises. Other times, her breathing becomes labored and she is too weak to even cough (she will appear to be suffocating and the oxygen levels in her blood fall). These are times when she is rushed to the regional hospital where they only treat her symptoms. As soon as she appears to be stable, they would send her away; back to Nikolai’s care.

Nikolai pleaded with the doctors that his institute doesn’t have the proper medical facilities. But the doctor in charge of her care says “I understand her condition is catastrophic, but this is a disaster from long ago, from the child’s birth – she is a child who has been abandoned”, and insists that the hospital policies are out of his control.

Back at Kalinovka, the medical director responsible for all the children is Olga, a retired dentist. She took up the responsibility because no one else would work there. Olga said, “I always pray. I always do. I ask God to please help the children get better. Every night I always say, please God, let all my children live.”

Margarita a few months later at Kalinovka orphanage

Margarita looks slightly better these days, compared to when she was first admitted to the hospital. She’s still in and out of the hospital because of her condition, but she fights to live… even though the doctors dismissed her as a “disaster”.

This is a note from our social worker at Happy Child who visits Kalinovka: “She needs one box of formula every 2 days. One box costs $17.50, so we need 15 boxes=$262.50 each month.”

To sponsor Margarita’s formula (her primary source of nutrition that she receives via enteral feeding) and to keep her strong and smiling, please email or click on the button below: