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Seeing nothing for all your life – what may be more tragic? Children who are diagnosed with “retinopathy of prematurity” need constant support of those next to them – their loving parents – to find their way to adapt to the adult life.
But Julia, apart from suffering from this terrible disease, is deprived of parental care. Her mother died, and her father now has a new family and visits his daughter only from time to time. Julia’s aunt is concerned about her niece’s future, but she is not ready to take Julia into her family. The blindness and the lack of family are the two factors depressing the girl, lowering her self-esteem, and preventing her from believing in herself.
For several years Julia was a student of Odessa orphanage for blind children, and later she was transferred to the children’s department of Kirovo Psychoneurological Institution in the Zaporozhzhye region.
When I talked to Julia, she was nervous, with her body swinging, and sometimes she was closing her ears with her hands as if she was afraid to hear a loud sound. And yet I managed to understand some things she was saying: “I dream of my own home, of having a family… Once I went to Crimea to the seaside… I remember the sea and I like bathing in it…” Besides, there were several times when Julia said: “I am blind, but I want to be cured. Will I be cured? What sense do I make?”
I asked her what present she would like to get for the New Year, but Julia did not know what to say for a long time. Finally, I got to know that she would like to listen to audio books – about love, family, and children. To be able to do so, she needs an acoustic system with an MP3 player (which costs UAH 150 or 20 US dollars), and a very simple flash card to record audio books. Besides, she asked for a piece of gold jewelry.
On 3 January 2013 Julia will turn 18. Usually a person of this age is full of energy and plans for the future. But Julia sees only the darkness in her eyes, with no hope for the future. She feels she is a human being no one needs. That is why she spends all her days sitting in her room, swinging sadly, and sometimes even bumping the floor with her head – and she does it on purpose.
Julia’s temper and behavior are not easy, but she is still a human being who desperately needs our help.
Julia with Helpus volunteers who visited the orphanage on 22 December 2013
Video with Julia:
Is it possible that there are no people who will help Julia understand that the life is not someone’s senseless joke, and that every person can be happy, even being blind? Is it possible that Julia will never have true friends? Maybe there is someone who could be a father or a mother for Julia? Or at least a brother or a sister? Some people who will help Julia believe in herself, who will love her and accept her just the way she is. Then she will need the help of professional doctors – a speech pathologist, a teacher, a psychologist, and a psychiatrist. But first of all the girl needs some people who care about her.
If this story touched your heart – write or call us – and we will sure find a way to help together!
This publication related with such categories:
Families with disabled children needs Profiles of orphans who need a family Publications made by Happy Child, Ukraine Articles about children with special needs Kirovo orphanage (boarding school, internat) for girls with mental retardness Articles about neuropsychiatric boarding