Friday, July 10, 2009

Santa and Alise

PHOTO DONATION: Iveta Vaivode, Anna Novikova.

We are at Iecava again because the helpful social workers Arta and Dace from the Iecava Social Service Center called us to help two little girls Santa and Alise. The social workers warned us that the situation in this family is rather tragic. The girls live 10km far from Iecava at the small village Zālīte in the unheated many-storied building. The only heating source in their flat is a little stove. The staircase area is cold and bleak. Entering the room we can feel the smell of dampness and poverty. Then we see a painful sight- the woman meeting us looks like a bent old woman, about 1,50 m tall and she has very deformed O-shaped legs.
This is mother Silvia. Then two little penguins waddles into the room- these are her daughters Santa and Alise. Santa is 5-years old and she has very bowed legs. Little Alise is 3 years old and mother thinks that she is fine, but obviously it is not so. Her legs are O-shaped too. The most likely reason for the deformation is rickets, when a child has an impaired metabolism of calcium, the bones soften and bow under the body’s weight. But in this situation we are not sure, because the girls haven’t had any treatment and the diagnosis is not established.
The girls are nervous because of 3 unfamiliar women who arrived carrying the big boxes full of cords, cameras and other appliances. Photographers Iveta Vaivode and Anna Novikova decide to take some pictures outside at the playground. Santa has a lovely rich red coat and photographers just love it, because it looks great in the white snow. We return to the flat and the girls are excited. What an adventure!!!! Alise is calmer and shy, but Santa poses for the camera as a real model.
While the girls are entertained by photographers, I am talking with their mother. Silvia is 30-years old and she doesn’t complain about her disease. She accepts the fact, what else can she do? Most important is that they have a roof over their heads and she has some job. In summertime she can work for a local farmers, but it is hard in the winter when nobody offers any job. She knits socks and gloves, sews pillowcases – somehow she makes both ends meet. And if she had a sewing-machine, she would sew a beautiful dresses for her girls. She is happy that local self-government allocated a new flat to them- without conveniences, but at least it is their own. They are lacking furniture and household objects, but Silvia says that everything will be fine in the long run. Alise’s father hopes to get a lumbering job, then he could buy some furniture.
We are heading home thinking about those shiny smiling children. Are they happy? They are sick and poor. But then we realize- does TV-set makes them happy, or a toy box full of toys? They have not seen such a things and they are happy. The only thing that these girls really want is the doll carriage and the dolls.

We want to help the little girls! We have to take them to the specialists in Riga to establish diagnosis and determine whether it is possible to correct rachitic deformities of the legs. We want to help them to furnish a new flat. Therefore we ask you to donate both money (for medical examination, treatment) and household objects and furniture.

The family needs: two kids beds, double-bed, wardrobe, kitchen cabinets, table, chairs and a carpet.
Clothes, footwear and books. And·dolls, of course!!!


MORE HELP NEEDED: (05.02.2009*):
*Every night we will update the donor list and the amount donated
**We will provide accurate information about disposition of donations and add a further story and photos


* writing desk for the girls and fridge (fridge is obtained thanks to the kind help of Zita Ruņģe 12.03.09.)
* dolls and dolls carriage (thaks to Inga and Gunda for the dolls)
* money (for medical examination and treatment)
* two kids beds (provided by Iecava Social Service Center ,13.02.2009)
* double bed for parents (provided by Iecava Social Service Center ,13.02.2009)
* wardrobe (provided by Iecava Social Service Center ,13.02.2009)
* kitchen cabinets (provided by Laura, many thanks)
* table (provided by Zālītes Village residents)
* chairs (provided by Zālītes Village residents)
* carpet (provided by Laura, many thanks). Thanks to Guna Mikelsone for the lovely homespun carpets
* clothes (provided by Laura, Gunda, Kristīne, many thanks)
* footwear (provided by Laura, Gunda, Kristīne, many thanks)
* books (provided by Inga and Gunda, many thanks)
* toys (thanks to Sandra for the pencils, crayons and other painty things)
* and·dolls, of course!!!
* sewing-machine(thanks to Sandra for the sewing-machine and other things for sewing and kniting)


Laura, Kristīne, Gunda, Sandra, Guna
Our photographers


Santa and Alise have spent a week in the children hospital (the children clinic university hospital in Riga) (21.09.09.- 30.09.09.) for the medical tests. The doctors have diagnosed- family hypofosfatemic rickets suspecta.

The further directions given by the doctors:
- a consultation of a geneticist
- a repeated visit (control) at the endocrinologist (14.12.2009)
- in food must be used products containing calcium
- Calcigran ½ tbl. 3x day, protractedly
- Alfa D3 1x day – for about 3 months
- 1x month to control the level of calcium and phosphorus in the blood

The operation at the moment will not be made because the bones are still forming. The operation could be made when the girls will reach about 12 years age. The use of medicine and regular visits to the doctors are compulsory.


The bed is needed.

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