On 2nd September 2008 the Belarusian Children’s Hospice ‘hot line’ service received a call from the Mikhin family. The family were desperate for the hospice to help their baby, Artemy, who had been diagnosed at birth on 12 August 2007 with Williams Syndrome which is a rare disorder caused by an abnormality in the chromosomes.
The symptoms include emotional, physical and mental problems. Artemy was immediately assigned to a palliative care team whose aim is to improve his quality of life. Unfortunately, his parents cannot afford any help at home as their modest budget is exhausted by the cost of the drugs he needs. Artemy’s father is a young musician and his mother has given up work as her little boy needs constant care. When her husband is at home in the evenings, she earns a little extra by delivering newspapers.
Artemy’s parents are devoted to him. ‘Putting him into a home was something we refused to even consider, despite his evident disabilities from birth. We love him as much as other parents love their children,’ said Olga, his mother.
A relationship of trust has now developed between Artemy’s parents and the Belarusian Children’s Hospice. Olga has started doing a few shifts at the hospice as a respite carer. This enables her to earn some much-needed money for the family.
Following a visit to a clinic in Moscow in early 2009, Artemy was put on a course of treatment that should help to control his symptoms. However, the drugs needed are very expensive and the family could not afford them. Through its website the Belarusian Children’s Hospice was able to find some private sponsors willing to cover the cost of these drugs. Artemy has already started responding to the treatment and there is hope that his condition will improve.
Artemy’s family would like to express their enormous gratitude to the Belarusian Children’s Hospice and to everyone who has helped them!
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