Happy Child logo

Daniella Rudenko: “Doctors gave me a new eye!”

November 8, 2011, 11:30 4445 Author: Inna Grigoryeva, translated by Daria Sukach www.deti.zp.ua Doctors surgically removed Daniella’s eye and replaced it with an artificial one. She is feeling well. The fund-raising campaign is currently closed. We’re grateful to everyone who helped Daniella!

Daniella has finally got her new eye!

Daniella’s father whose daughter has recently completed her treatment expresses his deep gratitude:

“We came back from Germany on the 14th of September. This time our daughter underwent an MRT (magnetic resonance tomography) that showed an urgent need for surgery. The 5 mm tumor had reached a size of 8 mm. The MRT revealed the tumor had grown in the eye ball. Luckily, the ophthalmic nerve was not affected. Doctors considered the treatment risk not in the tumor itself since it could be removed with a laser or with cryotherapy. The real danger was that cancer cells could be spread into the vitreous body. A great number of tiny cancer cells were spread due to an experimental chemo injection into Daniella’s eye in the Odessa clinic. This procedure caused the tumor to explode and its cells to release. Another serious risk was that the eye injection could enable the spread of cancer cells to Daniella’s body. Like the tumor, cancer cells were in an active phase despite the previous chemotherapy course.

We really hoped to save our daughter’s eye, but in our case we had no other option except to agree to amputation. The two hour operation went successfully.

We’re grateful to the German “Heart for Children" (Ein Herz fuer Kinder) foundation that kindly financed the surgery by donating 4, 394 euros! (6,071 US dollars!)

Eye amputation surgery bill

Eye amputation surgery in the German clinic is performed differently than it would be done in Ukraine. German surgeons save eye muscles and replace the eye bulb with an implant. Thanks to these muscles the implant synchronously moves with the healthy eye. Daniella’s artificial eye doesn’t really differ from her natural one. The girl’s gaze gets focused and therefore her new eye looks natural.

We were rather concerned about Dasha (Daniella) after the surgery. She was afraid to open her eyes and turn her head; she didn’t answer any questions and only felt things with her hands for two days. At the end of the second day, however, she finally opened her eye and looked around. The doctors said it was a normal adaptation behavior. When our daughter washed her hands in the bathroom, she came to the mirror, looked at it and said “Dasha’s ill eye is taken away and a healthy one will be soon put in instead”. Her words were full of optimism and the child’s faith and hope for the best was something her parents sometimes lacked. We thought of how we could cheer her up, but it turned out another way – we were emotionally supported by our daughter.

Two weeks later after the surgery when everything was healed our daughter got a glass prosthesis that did not differ much in its shape and colour from a healthy eye. When our daughter came to the mirror to take a look at her new eye, she exclaimed: “Hurrah, Dasha’s got a new eye!” She did not take her look off her new eye for some minutes. One could never guess that Dasha’s eye is artificial. The only little difference is in its slower movement.

Daniella is more optimistic about everything that goes on around her than we, her parents, are. She plays, laughs, runs and lives her life to the fullest no matter what. Her older brother Andrey while playing with his sister did not notice any change in her eye. That’s why we decided not to tell him about his sister’s glass eye, so that Dasha could go on living like an ordinary child.

On the 25th of October 2011 we will go to the hospital for our next examination. Dasha’s prosthesis will be again replaced and the doctors will keep on monitoring her new eye as well as her healthy eye. The doctors said that they will not prescribe Dasha any chemotherapy so far, but we have to examine our daughter four-five times a year since retinoblastoma may be a double one. Every such examination costs around 200 euros (276 US dollars). As Dasha’s bones grow we have to change her eye prosthesis every time in order to avoid face distortion and disharmony. Such prosthesis requires 400 euros (552 US dollars).

But the most important thing is that the life of our beloved daughter is out of danger and the surgery was a life-saving sacrifice.

We’re very thankful to the warm-hearted people who responded to our problem and helped us save our child’s life!

From our side we did everything we possibly could to save our greatest treasure – our lovely little daughter! May God reward you for your kindness and bless you for your help! We also want to thank the churches of our city Zaporizhia who prayed for us. We felt God’s protection and care on our way and in different complicated situations.

Our expense report:

The treatment in the Odessa Filatov Institute of Eye Diseases: eye examination – 75 hryvnyas (9,30 US dollars)+ 360 hryvnyas (44 US dollars); medicine for the injection + a compulsory hospital tax – 200 hryvnyas (24 US dollars); hospital health insurance– 100 hryvnyas (12 US dollars); anesthesia – 200 hryvnyas (24 US dollars).

Payment for staying in the children’s hematology department in Odessa plus other treatment expenses there – 150 hryvnyas (18 US dollars). Medications for the first chemotherapy course in Odessa – 1,024 hryvnyas (127 US dollars) + dropping procedures and medical solutions – 70 hryvnyas (8 US dollars). The round-trip between Zaporizhia and Odessa – 530 hryvnyas (65 US dollars).

The total expense: 2,709 hryvnyas (336 US dollars).

The first trip to Berlin - plane tickets from Kyiv to Berlin cost 5,421 hryvnyas (671 US dollars). Train tickets from Berlin to Zaporizhia cost 120 euros (165 US dollars).

Examination in the German clinic: 475 euros (656 US dollars).

Consular dues - 417 hryvnyas (51 US dollars).

Health insurance, passenger fare, food and accomodations – 100 euros (138 US dollars).

The total expense: 695 euros (960 US dollars) and 5,838 hryvnyas (724 US dollars).

The second trip to Essen (Germany) – plane tickets from Kyiv to Dortmund – 1,536 hryvnyas (190 US dollars) and the way back from Dortmund to Kyiv – 2,438 hryvnyas (302 US dollars).

Examination – 267 euros (368 US dollars).

Consular dues – 417 hryvnyas (51 US dollars).

Health insurance, passenger fare, food and accomodations – 300 euros (414 US dollars).

The total expense: 567 euros (783 US dollars) and 4,391 hryvnyas (544 US dollars).

The third trip to Essen – plane tickets from Kyiv to Dortmund – 1, 959 hryvnyas (243 US dollars) + 300 hryvnyas (37 US dollars) and the way back from Dortmund to Kyiv – 2, 040 hryvnyas (253 US dollars).

Examination – 179 euros (247 US dollars).

Consular dues – 814 hryvnyas (100 US dollars).

Health insurance, passenger fare, food and one month staying – 750 euros (1,036 US dollars).

The total expense: 921 euros (1,271 US dollars) and 5,113 hryvnyas (634 US dollars).

The fourth trip to Essen– plane tickets from Kyiv to Dortmund – 1, 218 hryvnyas (151 US dollars) and the way back from Dortmund to Kyiv – 1, 587 hryvnyas (196 US dollars).

Examination (MRT – 697 euros (963 US dollars); the prosthesis – 400 euros (552 US dollars).

Consular dues – 814 hryvnyas (100 US dollars).

Health insurance, passenger fare, food, medications and one month staying – 650 euros (898 US dollars).

The total expense: 1,747 euros (2,413 US dollars) and 3,619 hryvnyas (448 US dollars).

From the period of May till September 2011:

Raised: 111,407 hryvnyas (13, 821 US dollars) or 10,220 euros (according to the currency course of 10.90)

Spent: 3,930 euros (5,429 US dollars) and 21,670 hryvnyas (2, 688 US dollars) = 5,824 euros.

Left: 4,396 euros (6,073 US dollars).

Thanks to the German “Heart for Children” (Ein Herz fuer Kinder) charity foundation who covered all the surgical expenses, we still have 4,396 euros that will be used for further treatment in the German clinic and for a new eye prosthesis according to the growth of the child’s cranial bones (Every examination will cost 200 euros, and the prosthesis replacement – 400 euros). The fund-raising campaign is currently closed!“

Happy Child foundation - effective help to the most needy children of the Zaporozhye region, Ukraine, since 2004

They need help:

You donated in 2022

$ 962 102

Our expenses in 2022
To 163 sick children $122 003
Medical equipment: $17 402
Humanitarian help: $333 678
To disabled children: $326 475
To children's village: $18 979
To orphans and poor children: $38 516
"Helpus" - help to adults: $3 775
Service expenses: $37 627
Total sum of expenses: $902 312

$6 181 152

donated since 2007