“Waiting for a lung transplant to play with my grandchildren at the ball”

Olga Stepanova hurts as he can remember. Even more: already from the hospital she was discharged already wheezing, but after two weeks the wheezing intensified, high fever, – croupous pneumonia, clinical death…

Olga Stepanova. Photo: Evgenia Gubanova

  • Cut the chest, closed back and cancer “woke up”
  • Severe pain, opened fistula is to wait for help from nowhere
  • And all of a sudden breaks down oxygen concentrator, and a lung transplant is still far
  • “I wanted to slap the dice to see where lymphoma”
  • Native language as a foreign one: he was born almost deaf

Every year for three months the girl was diagnosed with “chronic pneumonia, III degree”, carried out in the hospitals. Alone, without a mother: the time was the Soviet and parents was not to be in the house with the children, and visits were strictly regulated.

– At the hospital from early childhood once a week, I did a bronchoscopy – pumped the pus from the bronchi under General anesthesia, so I could breathe.

It was very scary. All scary and painful – the main hospital of my childhood memories. I remember standing on the windowsill in the ward on the fourth floor, crying, and mom at the window waving at me.

Olga was a challenge among peers, in childhood, when the neighborhood guys, playing catch-up, easily reaches to the corner of the street, and she could not; and in adolescence, when her pupil had to repeat a year after two operations to remove damaged parts of the lungs.

– I was sent for home schooling, because in school I occasionally became ill, the nurse was scared and eventually he said he didn’t want to be responsible for a sick child. We lived in Donetsk together with my mother, who from morning to night work. I had to spend whole days alone, health restrictions prevented to participate in the active life of healthy peers. But when I double-operated light at the all-Union surgical Department of pediatric pulmonology, where I met with the same seriously ill children and became good friends. After the operation we came to the hospital two or three times a year to heal from all corners of the former Soviet Union. Spoke with pleasure, was in awe of their doctors who saved us, despite the fact that in the regions doctors put on us. And all along wanted in the future to connect their lives with medicine, so as to help others.

After eighth grade, Olga told her mother that he was going to go to the capital to attend medical school. But the mother, from birth, leading the fight for the life and health of the daughter, afraid to let her go to another city. The girl dreamed of independence and wanted to be the right people.

Having graduated from ten classes of five, Olga was accepted to medical school, but in the exam fainted, went to hospital, after which was in a sanatorium in Yalta. There is a local doctor advised her to move out of the dusty Donbass and to live in the Crimea, to the benefit of her health climate: “You wanted to be a doctor, so do not let to the Institute, in the school”.

And handed the paper with the announcement that the Yalta medical school is gaining students. Olga secret from mom has applied there. Thanks to the five-point certificate has accepted it without examination, settled in the hostel. And then the girl called my mom and said: “I’m not coming back”. Began an independent life.

After school Olga spent 12 years as a nurse in Sevastopol, with the 2nd group of disability and worsening health (disease progressed). But she loved the profession: I wanted to communicate with people, to help them. And only when going to work gone – gone. He graduated from the philological faculty of the Sevastopol University (SGGW) and became remotely edit articles, mainly on medical topics.

Future husband even I am intimidated

And at school, and in medical school at Olga drew the attention of young people. But it happened that as soon as their parents found out about the diagnosis, the girls did everything to keep the sons from communicating with her.

Then Olga got acquainted with Sasha.

– I did not conceal from him their health problems, and when I saw that he is ready for serious relationships, even a little bit scared, exaggerate. Said that not sure I’ll be able to have children. Periodically fall for a long time with severe exacerbation and is unable at this time to farm. And anyway, maybe I will not live long… I asked him: do you think, are you ready? He was ready. We lived for almost twenty years. A well-lived. Sasha was a very caring and lived for family. In 2007, he died in a car accident.

Olga really wanted a baby, but the doctors forbade. And the couple’s adopted eight-month-old girl. There were no schools of adoptive parents, to adoption are not prepared, and because the girl didn’t know she was adopted. Olga didn’t even think what to say – she is the daughter of Ira darling, priceless, the most dear, and the way it appears in the family did not play a role.

Even in the clinic did not know that the girl was adopted. When, having taken away the daughter from the child’s home, Olga has taken her to the doctors to examine and treat, those seeing the frail emaciated little girl, accusingly shook his head: “Mother, you brought the child to this state!” It is clear that in a loving family, which is the soul of the girl was everything to her, with caring parents and grandma, the girl quickly caught up to peers in development and stupid questions Olga no longer heard.

– When husband died, my parents died and we left with my daughter two, I had to have an operation: suspected cancer in gynecology, and I didn’t know if they would survive. I was worried about what will happen with daughter Ira, if she’s alone in the world? After all, the child is still very, though, and turned 18.

Then said to her: “Daughter, perhaps you have blood parents, brothers, sisters, find them if I’m gone”. Daughter burst into tears.

In the morning she came and hugged me saying, “Mommy, thank you! So thanks, dad, grandma. I love you very much. I don’t need anybody. I have you, you’ll be all right. I talked with my friends, they knew…”

Waiting for the light

Now the disease progresses, Olga for four years now breathes with the help of an oxygen concentrator and is waiting in Moscow the queue for a lung transplant is the only chance for salvation. Its almost destroyed. Diagnosis: bronchiectasis, chronic Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection, secondary pulmonary hypertension, respiratory insufficiency III degree. Exacerbations are very common and life-threatening. They need to take time to get to the surgery.

Help only prolonged courses of intravenous antibiotics are expensive original, others are no longer active. So Olga is asking for help with their purchase. Drip them to Olga in the hospital or at home by a physician. With droppers and first assistance to cope herself, good, specialty nurses needed.

Olga has another powerful incentive to wait for a lung transplant – she twice became a grandmother.

Grandson was a year old when she was left, and granddaughter was born without it.

This summer, Olga, feeling better, found the strength to fly to Sevastopol, to her daughter and grandchildren. Of course, with an oxygen concentrator – without Olga just can’t breathe.

– Transplantation of the lung in the Sklifosovsky research Institute was suspended for a while, so the trip is not threatened by the loss of the waiting list…

With my grandkids. Photo from personal archive

What a joy to Wake up in the morning, and the kids are waiting for you at the door, then run, hug, smile. As it is now I miss it!

She has to fight not only the disease, but with external circumstances. While she was with her daughter, her rented apartment in Moscow flooded the neighbors above. Only dried flat, brought black mold, as a newly – flood, things were wet, again there was mold. On some days even had to move to a hotel, although Olga is, of course, expensive. But to be in the dampness in her condition is simply dangerous.

Not to despair, not to give up faith helps.

– As a teenager, lying in hospitals, I saw how children suffer, and thought that if God was, He would not allow this! While almost all of us were atheists.

Now I don’t just believe, but feel that God is near, It helps me survive when it is very difficult. And isn’t it a miracle that I who doctors predicted death in their Teens, live and have grandchildren?

God help me, sending helpful people in situations of seemingly the most desperate. For example, when I feel bad like I am alone in a strange apartment in a strange city, and in the hospital, there are expensive (several hundred thousand) of drugs that should start dripping today and I have no money.

I think we can not understand his reasons, when picking up someone when sends illness as a test. I now have only gratitude to God, no rebellion.

Although questions, of course. My husband died in the Prime of life. We started life with two suitcases and Dorm rooms. Passed a lot of tests, poverty including. And all is returning to normal, he opened his own small business. How many plans for the future! Still wonder why it was necessary to stop him when he began to approach his dream?

But I know it’s a lot a man can not understand that the Lord acts not with earthly categories, deciding how to live. Here He now gives me life, and I appreciate it, thank you for each day.

Dream after surgery to feel the breathing of healthy people, to play ball with her grandchildren, growing flowers in his garden, to see the sunrise in the Crimean mountains, to do business, bringing the people a favor, in a word – to live happily and fully. But it’s His will, I can only ask the Lord to help me through the good, through good doctors, and hope to do my best.

Photo: Evgenia Gubanova

Fund “Pravmir” opened the collection of funds for the purchase of expensive antibiotics for Olga Stepanova. Let’s help her to wait for transplantation.

Go to the page collection at the Foundation’s website

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