He was wounded and has shrapnel next to his heart. He barely breathes and works to feed his children

Dejan Peric doesn't dare to go to have surgery because he would have to be still for six months, and that is luxury for him.

Dejan Peric (40) was 20 when he went to military service, and he replaced his birthplace Subotica for Kosare, which will be forever carved into his memory. 

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Even when he wanted to forget the hell of his battle on Kosare, he couldn't. He still carries the piece of shrapnel which wounded him, in his left lung, 2mm from his heart, as a "memory" of the defense of the homeland.

He remembers that day, even the hour when he suffered that terrible blow.

- It was on May 11th, at 4:30 AM. Everything was exploding around us. It was a fierce attack. I have seen wounded boys next to me, friends, I carried them, I tried to help them until I realized I was wounded as well - he remembers.

So Dejan, completely unaware of the situation he is in, at the moment when he needed help, he selflessly helped others, his real friends.

When the wound started to cool, he lost consciousness and he was transferred to Pec hospital. He has no recollection of the next 12 days because he fell into a coma. 

He often dreams Kosare. He wakes up in the night, he has bad dreams.

- I don't feel well, I wake up and I am covered in sweat. My wife tells me I sometimes moan in my sleep - he said.

Dejan i njegova supruga Ivana

Foto: Privatna arhiva

However, Dejan doesn't want to forget Kosare, because, believe it or not, after the NATO bombing when he returned home, he brought nice memories.

- We were all there as one. I got friends for life, those are the people I shared a piece of bread. I have seen some of those people after 20 years, for the Veterans Day, I couldn't recognize all of them, but they haven't forgotten about me. Those emotions are incredible. Perhaps it is embarrassing to say, but I cried when I saw those boys again - our interlocutor is honest.

EIGHT CHILDREN AND 35.000 DINARS (300 euros) 

He and his current wife live on the farm near Subotica, they have a piece of land where they live and they can't receive help for children because of it.

Dejan states that he gets 35.000 dinars and they barely survive on that. He shouldn't work due to his bad health, but he has no other choice.

- I have to work to support my family. I have four children with my current wife, the youngest one is 6 months old, I have four more from my first marriage and I send them alimony - states Peric.

Deca Dejana Perića

Foto: Privatna arhiva

The income is small, when they pay for electricity, buy basic groceries... They are almost left with nothing. However, Dejan said that they have food thanks to the little land they have. They plant vegetables and have some poultry.

- We need money for clothes, but children wear worn things no matter if they are for boys or for girls, an no one noticed that in the farm - he said.

The news that this hero from Kosare still lives was published a few months ago. I have called him to ask if anything changed: A little.

The city Subotica gave the Peric family the insulation for the house (styrofoam, adhesives, and grids), and some groceries and a fridge. More than enough to make the entire family happy. However, the hopes that something else is going to change quickly disappeared. Everything died after that. 

That is why Dejan is doing "whatever". He rips the grass around flowers with the nearby flower shop, he unloads barley, he drivers tractor up to 2-3 hours, as much as his heart can take. It is even harder because his wife is not working. She had to leave her job to take care of him because it happens that Dejan often chokes, he can't breathe and he urgently needs to go to the doctor.

Dejan Perić

Printskrin: Youtube/TV Subotica

- The shrapnel wound hurts too much when the weather changes, I can't breathe. I go to the doctor, they give me something against pain. I ask wor some sedative, I take it easier - complains Dejan and adds that he was soo week sometimes that he can't take his youngest child into his hands. 

He said that he was before the military medical commission in 2003 the last time when he was determined with a disability of 30 percent, but after that, he never received a call. 

The doctors said that Peric could have surgery, they would open up his chest and he would have to be still for the next 6 months. However, Dejan is a man who can't afford that kind of a "luxury". He said that he doesn't dare to go for a permanent solution due to helplessness, poverty, and fear. He would rather work hard as much as he can, just to provide the basic things for his children.

- I would love to provide a normal life to my children, but it is hard for now - Dejan concludes this with incredible sorrow in his voice.

If you wish to help the family of Dejan Peric, you can contact us over email address d.simic@telegraf.rs.

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(Telegraf.co.uk/ Dragana Simic / d.simic@telegraf.rs)

Tags: Balkan news, Daily news, Dejan Perić, East Europe, family, Help, Hero, Košare, Kosovo, Kosovo and Metohija, Shrapnel, War on Kosovo, Wound
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