Friday, July 10, 2009

Armands, the little boy who was born with an open backbone

PHOTO DONATION: Oļegs Zernovs

It is snowing; we with the photographer Mr. Olegs Zernovs are driving by a snow covered forest road and looking for the correct turning to house „Niedras”, Laucienas parish. Here lives Armands, the boy that we want you to tell about, the boy who was born with an open backbone. We enter the yard where we see running interesting, different kind of hens and a dog is welcoming us by barking loudly, telling the owners that the guests have arrived. In other times „Niedras” would be a rich farm, they have 17 cows and over 20 different hens, but in these days it is one of the farmsteads who can hardly make the ends meet.
A smiling, energetic lady is coming out to meet us, she is telling us in a local dialect that she was looking forward to see us and she is inviting us to go to the room where Armands is living. The house is old, without outer decoration, with old windows, that is why it is quite cold inside and I even do not want to put my outside clothes off. There is quite a big chaos all around, but when I think that 17 cows must be looked after and also 4 sons, then I understand that the only lady in this house is doing her best.
Armands is sitting in the bed by leaning on one hand, a radio, a play activity center and a newspaper is next to him. Armands is shy and his mum is encouraging him by saying that some guests have arrived, they want to talk to him and make some pictures. Armands has lovely black hair, very long eyelashes, he is lowly smiling and he is closing his eyes after every photo-flash.

We can only imagine what a mum may feel seeing that her baby is born with an open backbone… After the birth Armands had a difficult operation, which he underwent heroic as well as the next long months in the children hospital, in the intensive care department. This way they are living now already for 7 years- Armands by turns- in the wheelchair, in a small baby play pen and in the baby walker. Besides that Armands’ legs are so weak that he can only squat down on the knees and even that he can do no longer than for 3 minutes, he has also problems with urethra, kidneys and other organs.
When we have spent already some time with Armands, he is reacting more joyfully to the presence of the guests, by trying to tell us something, smiling, by showing in different ways that is feeling good and that he likes our presence. And when the photographer Olegs is giving him to press the buttons of the very complicated camera, he is very delighted and shows to his mum how he knows to press the different buttons. Armands knows the digits quite well, he likes to read the advertisement places where are seen the digits, then the mum must read and tell what digits are written, he likes to turn the pages of a most common calendar and showing by a finger to ask his mum to tell what digit is this. Calculators, telephones and clocks- all this seems so very interesting and exciting! Armands likes very much if mum is whispering in his ear the weather forecast, when I hear that, I have tears in my eyes- how endearing and genuinely she is telling her boy about the changeable weather conditions. Mum is telling that after the return from the rehabilitation in Vaivari or Baltezers, Armands is slowly thinking over all the new information and after about 2 months starts doing the things he did not do before. Armands mum knows nearly every child who participated in the project „The angels over Latvia” and when I asked her why also their family did not ask for a help, she says that it always seems to her that maybe somebody else is having a harder situation than they have. As if they have everything- a house to live in, food on the table, new clothes they can buy rarely, but it is not important, the most important thing is missing- the health. If they had at least a small support, Armands with his mum also this year could go to the rehabilitation center in Vaivari or Baltezers, he could also to take the massage and manual therapy treatment in Talsi, a town not far where they live.

Totally Armands needs 500 LVL, - Let us help!

Armands would be glad also for:
* children activity center (6-12 month age) (it is obtained already- thanks to Egija)
* a clock with a big dial (it is also obtained- thanks to Martiņš, Māra, Renāte, Zita)
* calendar, calculator, play telephone ( Armands already has it thanks to Mārtiņš, Māra, Renāte, Zita and Egija)

Armands still needs 00 LVL (from 196 LVL - 18.06.2009*): the necessary amount that would allow Armands and his mum to stay in Vaivari rehabilitation center is donated! Many thanks to all contributors!

* We will update the information about the donated amounts and the names of contributors every evening
*We will inform about the precise use of donated money in a further photo story

You have the possibility to donate 1 LVL by calling 90006888

Many, many thanks to the angels of Armands:
Mārtiņš , Māra, Renāte, Zita and Egija
Nadežda Ņedospasova (16.04.09.) - LVL 5,-
Dace Breice (18.05.09.) - LVL 10,-
Ina Miķelsone (18.05.09.) - LVL 20,-
Anonymous contributor (18.05.09.) - LVL 10,-
Anonymous contributor (18.05.09.) - LVL 60,-
Skrins Andrians (17.06.09.) - LVL 30,-
Anonymous contributor (17.06.09.) - LVL 61,-
Ieva Serjakova ( 18.06.09.) - LVL 3, -
Nadežda Ņedospasova (29.06.09.) - LVL 10,-
Laila Erte (13.12.10.) - LVL 50,-
NADEŽDA PALAMARČUKA - LVL 1,- (03.04.13.)

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