Below is an excerpt of Vicki's blog from her first trip to Belarus in October 2011. It describes her visit inside this facility and the critical needs they have there.
Ushachi is located in the northern part of Belarus, near the Polish border.
It is also Kosavaya and Lydias home town. These women have a long history together. They have been friends since childhood, so this trip took on a different meaning and color for me.
The Ushachi hospital held some very hard memories for Kosavaya as her Dad had died there. When he arrived at the hospital in trouble, they did not have the supplies and equipment necessary to save his life. Supplies like oxygen......when her Dad arrived there was no oxygen for him..........we cant imagine.
She told me that she was angry at the hospital for a time but decided she must try to make it better for other people. A couple of years ago a new Director with a clear vision connected with her and she set about doing what ever she could to help change the place for the better. We started our visit with the usual formal greeting and coffee, then visited several sick kids.
The rooms are small and dreary and there are three to four beds in each room. Usually you find a Mom or another family member staying with the patient, sitting on a straight chair at the end of the bed. When given permission we gave candy to each child. In this country, candy is a serious luxury for them.
The hospital has been used as a short term orphanage in the past as there was no facility close by specifically for children in crisis.
Can you imagine being a child in a crisis situation, being taken from your home and sent to a hospital instead of a facility with your needs in mind?
Kosavaya heard about this and contacted New Thing to see if they could raise money for a play room for these children and any hospital kids healthy enough to be there with them. Our visit to the facility was to see the progress on the room.
The building is very old and the project has moved slowly because of unexpected problems with load bearing walls, bad windows, etc. Some of the money had to be diverted to take care of the structural problems before the room could be finished, so the TV and Couch that had been funded has been delayed, but what we found when we arrived was amazing.
The director was so excited to show us this room and is still having a hard time believing he has it completed. We brought a giant dog to get the toy collection started.
- Vicki McDermitt, Belarus Report October 20th, 2011
SINCE THIS REPORT: The television, stand, and couch are in use. And more recently, on Vicki's second trip - a computer was also brought to the hospital courtesy of MSW and our generous partners. See Dr. Nikolai's message of thanks and gratitude below.
Thank you for joining us in delivering hope through missions of mercy like these to the precious children of Ushachi.