Svetlana never learned to walk, her twin did. In a few days her childhood may change
They were born prematurely at six months and received medical treatment at the Institute of Neonatology. From the moment the doctors determined she had cerebral palsy, she has been spending time in the hospital than at home
On the last day of this year, little Svetlana Gajic from Crna Bara near Bogatic will turn only four, but unlike her peers, she has not learned to walk yet. She was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when she was less than a year old. When her twin brother Mateja is five minutes younger was walking, she was unable to even sit on her own.
It will take very little for this girl to make her first steps - 3,000 euros is the cost of surgery to be performed by Russian doctors in Cuprija. The trouble is, her impoverished parents need this money by the end of this week as the surgery is scheduled for October 6.
"Svetlana and Mateja were born prematurely at six months and were treated at the Institute of Neonatology. From the moment the doctors determined that she had cerebral palsy, she has been spending more time in the hospital than at home. This year, from May to the end of August, she was in Sokobanja, where her health improved every day thanks to the exercises. She has a good chance of finally getting on her feet after surgery that will intervene on several muscles," explains her father Nikola.
The girl has a great desire to walk, but is only able to take steps when her parents and siblings hold her with both hands. Previously, she was just lying down, while now she is stronger, able to sit on her own, use cutlery, feed herself, speak clearly, and understand everything.
The doctors give no guarantee that Svetlana will walk, but from the experiences of other children who previously had surgeries to correct the same type of deformities of the knees and the feet, they are giving the parents and little Svetlana great hope.
The Gajic family has four other healthy children who help to nurse their sick sister when she is not in the hospital and while father Nikola and mother Marina work seasonal jobs. They are both big fighters who are not picky about the work they do in order to earn enough to survive, along with childcare and allowance for providing care and assistance, which are their only safe sources of income.
"I would be embarrassed if people in the village pointed to us as Romanis who cannot provide their children with basic things. We work for a wage, but regardless of how much we earn we can't save anything. It's difficult with a sick child because she needs more than a healthy one. The surgery has been scheduled, but we don't have the money and we are asking people to help us," says Nikola.
With only a few days left to raise the money, the worried parents asked for help from entertainment artists Rada Lackovic and Pavle Dejanovic, who are organizing a charity concert tonight in Bogatic. For the past month, only around 17,000 dinars have been paid into Svetlana's account open with the "Budi Human" ("Be Humane") Foundation, which is nowhere near the amount needed for the operation and stay in Cuprija.
Anyone who wants to help this girl walk and live like other healthy children can do so by texting or making a payment to one of the Budi Human Foundation's accounts.
SMS - send 691 to 3030 (price of one text is 200 dinars)
SMS from Switzerland - send human691 to 455 (price of one text is 20 francs)
Dinar bank account: 160-552133-49
Hard currency bank account: 00-540-0004236.9