A mother’s love: Aleks in the House of Light

ChildAid helped them smile.
Date published: 3 Aug 2017 |

Can a woman forget her nursing child and have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you (Isaiah 49:15)

Every parent rests their hopes and dreams on their children. The birth of a new-born baby should be a magical moment where these dreams are equally born.  For some however these dreams can become something more like a nightmare. This was true for Natali, where the birth of her much wanted and loved son Aleks went from a day of celebration, to one of trauma. Despite her attendance to every recommended parental examination and consultations, upon delivery Aleks neither breathed nor cried, receiving the lowest ‘Apgar’ birthing score on his birthing card. Emergency resuscitation enabled Aleks’s life to be saved, but it is believed to have come at the price of the Cerebral Palsy which plagues him.

Despite being given the all too common advice for women in her situation to abandon Aleks to a state baby home, Natali decided to do everything in her power to give him a good life full of love. Instead of listening to pleas to forget the “cripple,” she refused to allow her son to become one of the 88,000 ‘social orphans’ abandoned due to disability in the Ukraine by 2012. “God gave him life, and I do not believe he should suffer; I will fight.“

Over a period of 8 years she has had Aleks complete 16 courses of treatment with Professor Bersenev in Kiev, 14 courses in Truskavets Clinic of Rehabilitation, 5 courses at the specialist children's hospital in Hadzhibey (Odessa), 4 courses of therapy with dolphins, and 3 courses of hippotherapy – which is therapeutic horse riding.

A mother’s love might be unconditional, but sadly the ability to attend such treatment often is conditional on money. With her only income being the state disability benefit, she had begun to struggle to maintain such treatment. However, with the help of our partners at the House of Light this financial and emotional pressure has been relieved.

Now Aleks attends the House of Light regularly, and has made remarkable progress. Since attending he has learnt to sit using support, to suck, swallow, chew, and to ask to use the toilet. He has even made the massive step to respond to converted speech. Most importantly he has learnt to smile, as at the House of Light he has been able to indulge his passion for classical music, dolphin noises and children’s songs.

Both Aleks’s and Natali’s lives have changed for the better thanks to House of Light. ChildAid's local volunteers who run the centre provide a safe, nurturing and stimulating environment for young people like Aleks to develop and grow, whilst taking pressure off parents like Natali to enable their dreams for the children to become reality. This life changing centre would not be possible without the donations from our supporters for which we are eternally grateful.

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