“Actually I am a very ordinary woman. I am bringing up a child with disabilities. I adopted him from an orphanage when he was four years old. He had cerebral palsy and many others diagnoses… He did not look healthy. His head was bigger than it should be, his mouth hung open and saliva flowed. His legs were also very weak. The boy crawled on his hands. He jumped on his arms and his hands were as rough as our feet. His legs were completely immobile.” – This is how Nina Arkhipovna Brizhko, a 66-year-old woman from Cherkassy region began her story.
This woman gave this boy a new life. She gave him love. Today Stasik is 8 and she has literally raised him on to his feet. Stas goes to school at № 34 in Cherkassy on his feet with the help of the “walkers.” In the future, according to this woman’s belief, he will be able to walk independently.
Having such an experience, Nina Brizhko together with public activists Evgeny Korolev and Dina Glazunova (Chairwoman of the NGO Pearl) decided to give a chance for recovery to other children and create a rehabilitation program for children with such a disease. This initiative is maintained by a “powerful movement that could change the world” and the deputy of Cherkassy Regional Council Paul Filippenko.
The chief doctor of Malutka , the orphanage from which I took the child, told me that a nursing home is the best place for him, that he had no future… I imagined his future … alone, with no family and with such a disease… and I refused to agree. When I heard that he would be given to the orphanage for disabled people, I could not remain indifferent. I Then decided to take this child and signed for his custody”, – said Nina Brizhko about the beginning of her life with 4-year-old Stasik.
Nina Arkhipovna believes that parents who have children with this disease should unite and help each other, and not despair or wait for someone else to solve the problem. She reiterated that she would not have achieved such results without the help of various people, her persistence and a positive attitude.
Nina Brizhko advises parents to participate in the creation and implementation of rehabilitation programs for children with cerebral palsy.
“Now the boy lives in a family setting. People around see how he has changed. He has further developed. He successfully studies in second grade. For three months he was receiving treatment in Evpatoria, but now he is catching up with the curriculum. In the beginning he could not even stand on his legs. When people tried to put him on his legs he cried. Now the child walks. So far with the help of “walkers” and walls, but soon he will be able to walk independently“, said Nina Arkhipovna.
In addition, Nina Brizhko shared the “secret of success.” As every word of this “secret” is very important, here is her unedited speech:
– I will reveal a secret to you. I believe in God. The Lord is with us all the time. I took the baby and I had a purpose and motivation. I keys and insight on how to do it. I restored the child using a system. We were studying and training all the time. We were learning poetry while having a walk, or English, or another subject… We live in a hostel with a long corridor. So we took “walkers” and trained him to walk along the corridor… Everything was converted intoa contribution to his development. No matter what we were doing. Even cartoons and books became educational. The child also grew up in a clean spiritual environment. There were no bad words, no negative thoughts or expectations and no problems. Once we went for a walk and met some elderly ladies who said, “Oh, what a sorrow” and my child said: “We have no sorrow.” We are used to liv without sorrow. We do not conform to living with cerebral palsy. Cerebral Palsy – is just a situation, it is something temporary. We decided that with God we will live better and solve the problem of cerebral palsy.
Every toy and all that surrounded him served to develop him physically, intellectually and mentally. I always believed that his destiny is not to crawl, but to walk. I have a goal that this child will become a full-fledged individual, that he will become useful to society, able to take care of himself, earn money and so on … I believe that everything will be fine. Today we can see positive results. I wish you could see him. He is a very good and interesting boy…
Finally, Nina Brizhko again suggested that parents unite:
– I saw the condition of the children and parents. It motivates me to change something. Today, parents cannot give children with such a disease what they need. I believe that with the help of society we can solve this problem.
Translated by Yevheniya Pustova
Edited by Kizito Leacock